11 February 2019
If you find the pace of life a little hectic, juggling work and family responsibilities and trying to carve out some time for yourself too, you may think you don’t have the time to help others. But even small changes to your day-to-day life can have an impact. For example, buying Fairtrade products is one thing you can do to help make a difference to the lives of the people who grow the things you and your family love to eat.
You’ve probably seen a Fairtrade label on a piece of fruit or on food packaging, but do you know what it means? Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. It requires companies to pay sustainable prices, never below the market price. When you buy a Fairtrade product, you can be confident that the people who produce it are being given a fair deal. That allows them to make their own decisions, control their future and lead the dignified lives we all deserve. Farmers can build a better quality of life for their families, sustain local communities and invest in growing better quality crops.
Buying Fairtrade doesn’t necessarily mean spending more: most major supermarkets now have Fairtrade own-label tea and coffee ranges. Quality is not compromised, though – that’s evident from the number of awards that Fairtrade products have won. And you might be surprised by the range of products with Fairtrade accreditation – it’s not just tea, coffee and bananas. There are now over 4,500 Fairtrade products, from herbs and spices to flowers and beauty products, available in a wide range of retailers including all the big supermarkets. Co-op seems to be leading the way, having proudly supported the development of Fairtrade across their stores. All their hot drinks and their whole chocolate confectionery range are Fairtrade, and in 2015 they became the biggest retailer of Fairtrade wine in the world.
This year’s Fairtrade Fortnight (from February 25th to March 10th) is focusing on the people, particularly the women, who grow the chocolate we love. A simple way you can start supporting cocoa farmers around the world is by buying Fairtrade chocolate and cocoa when you can. Look for the FAIRTRADE mark when you’re shopping (see above) – this will help make a difference while you bake delicious treats for your family…sweet! With that in mind, we’re setting a baking challenge to make a Fairtrade cake. Think bananas, chocolate, coffee …the options are endless! You can have a look at the Fairtrade website to get your creative juices flowing and your mouth watering. When you’re done – and before you’ve eaten it all up! – share a picture on social media showing the Fairtrade products you used, recipe and finished cake (you can find the links to our social media pages in the footer). The winner will receive a loaf tin and oven glove. With a high-quality loaf tin that allows efficient heat distribution, your loaves will be easy to turn out and baked to perfection, so you and your family will want to bake lots of delicious loaves together – using Fairtrade ingredients. :)