Link to Fairtrade UK website.
Look out for this trademark on 
products when you shop.

COLCHESTER FAIRTRADE TOWN CAMPAIGN


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A Fairtrade Breakfast

“Whether we realise it or not, each of us lives eternally in the red.  We are everlasting debtors to known and unknown men and women.  When we arise in the morning we go into the bathroom where we reach for a sponge which is provided for us by a Pacific Islander.  We reach for soap that is created for us by a European.  Then at the table we drink coffee which is provided for us by a South American, or tea by a Chinese, or cocoa by a West African.  Before we leave for our jobs we are already beholden to more than half the world.”

Martin Luther King      

  • Let's imagine the scene........

Busy Monday morning.  Family breakfast.  Noisy kids and the smell of fresh coffee.
It's getting late and you're in a hurry as usual .......

  • Don't take more cereal than you will eat - it's wasteful !
  • Share those bananas with your sister !
  • Take one snack bar to go with your lunch - not the whole packet !
  • Mind you don't spill that coffee over my new shirt !
  • Hurry and put your shoes on now, or you'll be late for school

We encourage our children to be careful, fair, kind, not to be greedy, to look after one another.  That's the kind of people we are - responsible, helpful, hard working, kind, honest, fair-minded,  generous and not wasteful.  Our children start to develop an understanding of right and wrong by the age of three years.

Seeing injustice hurts us ........

  • But the breakfast cereal was made by a firm that aggressively markets baby milk powder in poor countries, where it is mixed with dirty water and gives kids cholera
  • The bananas were grown by a poor world farmer who can hardly afford breakfast for her children
  • The snack bars were made with sugar from the EU, where perverse crop subsidies flood the market and make sugar so cheap that it's impossible for poor world farmers to compete
  • The coffee grower has no idea what price he will get in a distorted unfair market, run by distant corporations and futures traders
  • The new tee-shirt was a great bargain because it was made by exploited child labourers
  • Many poor world parents struggle to pay for their children's schooling.  Some children have to miss school to work and support their families
  • The kids' trainers were made in sweatshop conditions with low pay and no job security

Something smells wrong here, doesn't it ?  I feel we have left our values and ethics at home when we went shopping.


  • Let's dispel some of the myths that some people believe when they hear us talk about Fairtrade shopping ........

Is Fairtrade too expensive to afford ?  Is someone else's poverty an acceptable price for our cheaper shopping ?

  • More and more people like us are saying “No !”  Life does not have to be a competition loaded in favour of the greed for corporate profits.  Fairtrade prices reflect the costs of paying for the benefits to producers and the smaller scale of trade.  The premium is the cost of JUSTICE, and it really is a price worth paying.
  • Fairtrade prices are often not as high as we are led to imagine, when you compare like-for-like quality and shop around for best value.

Can I find a wide range of Fairtrade goods locally ?

  • Yes !  Local Fairtrade outlets stock dozens of varied teas and coffees !  But it's not just about tea and coffee.
  • You can also find ethically-traded

Is the quality of Fairtrade goods up to scratch ?

  • Yes !  If anything, Fairtrade producers take a tremendous pride in their work, giving the best quality goods for sale, knowing that they will be paid a fair rate.  They seek to add value to the product and enjoy the positive results of their efforts.  Exploited workers only feel resentment and anger at the injustice they suffer - and sometimes it shows.
  • Much Fairtrade food is organic, with fewer nasty chemicals to harm either the environment, workers, their children, or consumers.

Will I have to search for ages to find any Fairtrade products ?

  • No.  There are several Fairtrade outlets in our area.  Many basic products, especially beverages, can be found at supermarkets, but you will find a better range in the specialist outlets and they support the same ethics that we value in the Fairtrade movement, so please make full use of them.

Does the Fairtrade system really make a difference to the lives of poor people ?

  • Yes it does !

“Now I am getting fair wages - 40% more than before.  I saved some money and built a new house.  My one son and daughter are studying in the government school.”

Sheraj Gagi, weaver, India      

  • The extra income enables workers to live healthier, longer lives.  Some Fairtrade organisations also liaise with local producers on funding projects to improve access to health care, education, transport, water, sanitation and production training.  Check out the organisations on our Links Page for details

We are aware of the issues.  We know the answers.  Now it's time for a change of gear, isn't it ........

  • Pop into your local Fairtrade shop for a visit
  • Check out the range of products available
  • Have a chat with the staff - you will find them friendly and helpful
  • Try some of the items that take your fancy
  • Treat yourself - you will no longer need to feel so guilty !
  • Choose cafes and restaurants that use Fairtrade products
  • Think of the Fairtrade products that belong on your regular shopping list.
    Keep a note of them in your purse
  • Find out more about the origins of the Fairtrade products you buy
  • Encourage more local shops to stock Fairtrade products
  • Have a bring and share Fairtrade Fun Party
  • Choose Fairtrade goods as gifts to friends and family
  • Browse the web for Fairtrade goodies
  • Check out the Farmers' Market - it's local fair trade for local farmers
  • Join the Fairtrade Colchester campaign and help spread the word
  • Help your children (or parents) to understand the benefits
  • Tell your friends about Fairtrade

Live out your values.

Play fair.  Shop fair.  Be fair.  Live fair ......

Buy Fairtrade.

Thinking of which,  

Perhaps it's time for a Fairtrade cuppa and a Fairtrade snack !