Almost every time you buy a product from your local supermarket you are depending on producers across the world, from tea pickers in India to cocoa growers in Africa. In many cases, pay and conditions are poor and people are caught in a cycle of poverty.
Fairtrade is about fairer prices and terms of trade, decent, safe working conditions and local sustainability, for farmers and workers in the developing world.
By supporting and promoting Fairtrade products and issues here in the UK, we can do something practical to give farmers and producers in developing countries a brighter future, enabling communities to invest in healthcare, education and environmentally sound methods of production. At the same time we can enjoy high quality products, with a great taste, ourselves.
The campaign to promote Fairtrade has seen real progress over recent years. Fairtrade has grown enormously. More and more people make choices to buy Fairtrade and today there are over 4,500 products displaying the Fairtrade logo, from coffee to flowers and from wine to body lotions.
There is much more excellent information on the Fairtrade Foundation website.
How can you support Fairtrade?
- Try to buy products with the Fairtrade Mark when you need to buy from overseas.
- Ask for Fairtrade products in your local shops, cafes and restaurants.
- How about giving Fairtrade goods as gifts to your family and friends?
- Join with us to help campaign on these issues.
Fairtrade in Stafford Borough
In Stafford Borough we have quite an exciting tradition of being very active in supporting and promoting Fairtrade. Way back in 1999, Stafford Area Action for Fairtrade (SAAFT) was set up to support and promote the principles of Fairtrade, often in some unusual ways. For instance, here are members of ‘Team SAAFT’ ‘Running for a Fairer World’ in the Stafford Half Marathon and Fun Run. Adri Hartveld, proudly wore his SAAFT vest as he crossed the line in first place.
We have run Pancake Races for Fairtrade. We have baked cakes and served FT beverages to celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight at The Gatehouse; we have supported the annual One World Week campaign; we have created a Fairtrade Directory for the Stafford Area (the fourth edition was published in 2010 and is available from SBC), and worked with schools (creating a Fairtrade Pack for Schools in Stafford Borough before resources became available from elsewhere), churches and community groups - and won several national awards too
A Fairtrade Town and Borough
Lots of partners have worked together to help achieve Fairtrade Town and Fairtrade Borough status. As part of this, the Council passed resolutions expressing support for Fairtrade. Stafford became the first Fairtrade Town in Staffordshire on 6 August 2003. This was renewed in 2006. The Borough was then awarded FT Borough status in 2010. We also worked with SCC to help Staffordshire achieve Fairtrade County status.
There are now over 500 Fairtrade Towns in the UK as well as many more areas campaigning towards status. There are Fairtrade Town campaigns in 23 countries around the world and all of these have been inspired by the example in the UK.
We are currently looking to renew our FT Town and Borough status, so please get in touch if you’d like to help.