Friday, 26 February 2010

Fairtrade Fortnight

Fair-trade verb – a system of trading [while] promoting more equitable global trade, especially to sellers and producers in poorer areas, but also to the environment.

Have you heard? It’s Fairtrade Fortnight! The term ‘fairtrade’ might conjure images of Cuban coffee growers and parched orange earth but fair-trade can extend as far as our merry soils as well. This is less about food and more about people – growers, native traders, community producers. Okay, you might not be able to actually taste the difference when munching on a fairly traded banana but the feel-good factor is definitely tangible. Every year, the Fairtrade Foundation holds two whole weeks of fun to celebrate its growing success; thanks to ethical consumers, around the world, the fair-trade market is currently worth around £800 million! This year, fairtrade fortnight is running from 22nd February until 7th March.

So, are you game? Want to get involved? Check out the official fair-trade website for details on events. If you’re looking for everyday ways to get involved, ask your barista if your morning cappuccino is ground from fair-trade beans. Of course, Starbucks touts itself as a big fair-trade contender but many smaller coffee shops and cafés (like this one in Bristol) offer fairly traded beans.

Keep an eye out at the supermarket, too, for fair-trade items – tea and chocolate are easy to find in most supermarkets but Sainsburys has a truly fab selection of products from sugar to flowers that are ethically produced while the Fairtrade Foundation claims that there are over 4,500 products bearing their mark.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is pushing the Foundation’s ‘Big Swap’ to encourage us to swap our usual weekly favourites with fair-trade options. He’s got some great recipe ideas to inspire you (if you need any further persuation!) too.

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