Fairtrade Fortnight, which runs each year over February and March, is an initiative by the Fairtrade Foundation. The movement encourages people to swap non-fairly traded products with fairly-traded ones.
Many of us already buy goods that are easily replaced with fairly-traded versions. Without too much impact on our wallets, these swaps go a long way toward enabling a fairer system of global trade.
Here, we’ll look at the importance of Fairtrade and a few easy swaps you can make this coming Fairtrade Fortnight.
Why Fairtrade Matters
Purchasing products and goods from organisations that support fair trade practices is important. Why? Fairtrade ensures those who produce a core ingredient or raw material for a product get paid a fair price for what they do.
How, and why, are unfair prices set up in the first place? It’s a complicated matter, with a multitude of factors involved. Although the Fairtrade Foundation has been active since 1992, problems still exist. To this day, some growers and suppliers are still not paid enough to earn a living wage. Let alone paid enough for their wages to be sustainable.
To support Fairtrade products you don’t need to shop at a specialty store, but you can if you wish. You’ll find them at niche health food stores, delis, and high street shops alike. These kinds of shops are more likely to stock other amazing Fairtrade products too.
You’ll also just as easily find Fairtrade products on the shelves of the big brand supermarkets. Sainsbury’s, M&S, Waitrose, Tesco’s, and the Co-op all have their own-brand fairly traded products at reasonable prices. They also stock selections of many other ethical brands.
6 Easy Fairtrade Fortnight Swaps
We’ve made a list of six common staples, with examples of brands you can switch to this coming Fairtrade Fortnight.
In 2019, the focus of Fairtrade Fortnight is on cocoa, yum! The UK Fairtrade Foundation is also beginning a three-year campaign to support cocoa farmers to earn a living wage. Given we consume millions of tonnes of cocoa beans globally every year, paying the farmers a decent wage sounds fair, right?
Swapping your chocolate for a Fairtrade label is as easy as sipping a mug of hot cocoa at the end of the day.
Divine chocolate’s owners include Kuapa Kokoo, a Ghanaian farming cooperative. This means a good percentage of profits go directly back into the local community. The Divine range includes milk and dark chocolate bars and blocks. They also produce cocoa powder and baking chocolate. A 90g bar of Divine chocolate costs around £2.20.
Green & Black’s Maya Gold was the first UK chocolate product to receive the Fairtrade certification, back in 1994. These days, their Fairtrade products also include small 30g bars for under £1. Tins of cocoa will cost you around £2.
Herbs and Spices
Bart’s Ingredients got on board with a Fairtrade range of herbs and spices in 2005. Swap your cinnamon, ginger, cloves, turmeric, pepper, and cardamom for around £2 a jar.
Steenburg’s work with certifiers in the UK and Germany to set standards for Fairtrade herbs and spices. They brought the first certified Fairtrade herbs to the UK in 2005. Their range includes saffron to garam masala, and vanilla pods to mulled spice blends. Prices start at £2.
Cafédirect are not only Fairtrade. They’re also a B-Corp that invest half of their profits back into the producers to support their sustainability. Their coffee products include beans from farmers in Tanzania, Peru, Costa Rica and Columbia. This coffee retails for around £4 for 100g.
Percol was the first ground coffee brand certified by Fairtrade. Now, they’re on a plastic-free, carbon and climate neutral mission. You’ll also find a range of ready-made iced coffees to drink at around £5 for four.
Clipper teas have been proudly wearing their Fairtrade label since 1994. You can get everyday teas at around £2 for 40 bags, green tea at £2.40 for 50 and herbal infusions at under £2 for 20. English Breakfast tea bags, to kick-start the day are around £2.50 for 40.
Jacksons of Piccadilly began blending their teas in the 1800s. They made the move to Fairtrade in 2008. Their Fairtrade products include black teas, green teas, and herbal infusions. A box of 80 black tea bags costs under £4.
Fresh bananas, banana chips, or banana puree for your little ones. They’re all available from Fairtrade supply chains and companies. A Fairtrade banana will usually cost around 15-18p.
Sugar and Syrups
Tate & Lyle’s Fairtrade work with sugar cane farmers in Belize has led to projects focussed on improving children’s education and rights. You’ll find a range of sugars from light and dark Muscovado to Demerara. Granulated white sugar retails for £1.50 – £2 a kilo.
Rayners Golden Syrup is both organic and Fairtrade. A 340g pack sells for £3.50 – £4. Caterers can find it in 5kg tubs. Drizzle it on!
Supporting Fairtrade Might Be Easier Than You Think
As we’ve seen, swapping to a fairly traded product doesn’t have to cost the earth. You might even find that some Fairtrade goods are cheaper than their counterparts. To get into the habit of supporting Fairtrade, keep your eyes out for the distinctive green and blue logo when you go shopping.
By making a few small changes to your basket you can make a big change to someone’s life. Who knew chocolate could taste even sweeter?