21 Feb

Changing the world, one banana at a time!

What do you know about Fairtrade? Have you ever bought a fairtrade banana? Or noticed the Fairtrade mark on a bar of chocolate and wondered what it meant?

What is Fairtrade?

Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world.  Buying Fairtrade products ensures that producers receive a fair price for their goods – and there is also a ‘social premium’ which goes towards providing community facilities such as clean water.   Producers decide on projects democratically.
Paying sustainable prices addresses the injustices of conventional trade which tends to discriminate against the poorest, weakest producers.

The Fairtrade Mark

The FAIRTRADE Mark is a registered certification label for products sourced from producers in lower income countries. It’s used only on products certified in accordance with Fairtrade Standards (and on promotional materials to encourage people to buy Fairtrade products). To find out more visit the wonderful Fairtrade Foundation website at www.fairtrade.org.uk

Fairtrade in action – go bananas!

There are lots of fairtrade products available – in Sudbury shops you can easily find fairtrade coffee, tea, sugar, chocolate, bananas, socks, tomatoes, stationery, and all kinds of crafts and gifts. But the one we notice most often in the supermarkets is probably bananas.

Trading bananas is the cornerstone of many lower-income countries’ economies, with an estimated global export value of $7 billion. It is believed that for more than 450 million people in lower-income countries, bananas (and plantains) are essential staple crops.

There are currently 258 Fairtrade certified banana organisations (co-operatives and commercial farms), representing over 36,480 farmers and workers in 16 countries.

Banana farmers and workers across the world are facing increased financial struggles and uncertainty. Fairtrade’s minimum price means that farmers and workers can build their resilience. This year Fairtrade raised the minimum price, while in 2021 we introduced a Base Wage for banana plantation workers.

Between 2000 and 2020, Fairtrade banana sales in the UK generated over £114 million in Fairtrade Premium for farmers and workers. Fairtrade Premium is an additional sum of money which goes into a communal fund for workers and farmers to use to improve their social, economic and environmental conditions for example by paying for schooling or to improve housing.

Sudbury – a Fairtrade town

A Fairtrade town is one that has made a commitment to supporting Fairtrade and using products with the Fairtrade Mark. Any area can work towards Fairtrade status and everyone can be involved. By choosing to support Fairtrade, a town adds its voice to demands for a trade system that puts people, not profit, at the heart of the transaction. We believe that our voices are louder when we speak together.

Sudbury added its voice to this movement ten years ago, and we are now working to renew our status in 2023. Watch out for events and promotions and please support your town!

And, of course, choose Fairtrade wherever you can!

If you are, or have been, a Fairtrader please get in touch as we would like to create a Sudbury area network to pool resources and help each other.We’ll be at Sudbury Market on March 11th to celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight – come and say hello!  If you would like to help with promoting fairtrade in the area, please email the steering group on info@sudburyfairtrade.org.uk  

Download this article as a pdf here .

07 Feb

Fairtrade and Traidcraft

Fairtrade and Traidcraft in Sudbury

The person responsible for Fairtrade and Traidcraft in each organisation is asked to contact the secretary of the Sudbury Fairtrade Group, Sara Merritt (saraljpx@gmail.com ) with a view to highlighting Fairtrade Fortnight (February 27th to March 11th 2023) and for mutual support now that Traidcraft plc has gone into receivership.