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This past month, the public have been shocked by allegations in the Guardian of migrant workers being forced to work on Thai fishing boats supplying fish food to the prawn farming industry. Journalists, human rights organisations and politicians alike have denounced this as modern slavery.
We all remember with horror the great-aunts who exclaimed: ‘My how you have grown’. Fast forward several decades and we find ourselves parroting the same words when we bump into children we haven’t seen for a while. Their families, with them every day, haven’t noticed and swing round to look at their kids afresh…
With the government currently calling for greater transparency and accountability within supply chains, Jenny Willott MP, and the former Business Minister, met recently with children from Barlows Primary School in Liverpool to hear their views on Fairtarde and global issues. Barlows’ teacher Nicole Kattou talks in more detail about the benefits of introducing children in to Fairtrade.
With an estimated 165 million cups of tea consumed in the UK on a daily basis, it would be easy to think that every day is International Tea Day. However, since 2005, International Tea Day has officially been observed on 15 December, giving us an opportunity to reflect on the impact of an industry that millions of farmers and workers across the globe depend on for their livelihood.
In 1819, UK MPs were debating a new law to outlaw the employment of very young children as chimney sweeps. Several MPs (apparently after lobbying from the Guild of Master Chimney Sweepers) raised concerns that sweepers would turn to mechanisation. They argued that the law would “deprive many people of employment, and throw a number of young persons on the parishes.”1 Better, said the opponents, to employ a large number of children - in very poor working conditions, than to offer them no work at all.
My ears really pricked up when I heard about typhoon Hagupit heading towards the Philippines just over a week ago. News of such natural disasters is always heart-wrenching, but this time it was more personal. I had visited farmers in the Philippines just three weeks previously.
My first thought – are they all ok?
Second thought – did Eric’s greenhouse hold?
It can often seem as if the whole of the Earth and its attendant resources are trained on us (consumers), geared toward second guessing what we might like at any given moment. It is small wonder then that we have become super demanding. Woe betide retailers if the moon-on-a-stick shop is closed or our diamond shoes are too tight.
As the FAIRTRADE Mark celebrates its 20th birthday, 19-year-old Hannah Genders Boyd shares her story, exploring the challenges and opportunities that lay in the next two decades…
Fairness is a value that virtually everyone in Britain thinks is very important.
Find answers to some of the questions that are frequently asked about Fairtrade.
Ever wondered how many farmers and workers are involved with Fairtrade? Or how the Fairtrade Premium is used? Here's a snapshot from our latest data.
Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. By requiring companies to pay sustainable prices (which must never fall lower than the market price), Fairtrade addresses the injustices of conventional trade, which traditionally discriminates against the poorest, weakest producers. It enables them to improve their position and have more control over their lives.
With Fairtrade you have the power to change the world every day. With simple shopping choices you can get farmers a better deal. And that means they can make their own decisions, control their future and lead the dignified life everyone deserves.