Fairtrade Fortnight: Come On In

Fairtrade Fortnight runs from February 27th to March 12th. This years theme, ‘Come on in’, puts a spotlight on supporting trade that is fair and has the potential to change lives for the better. Millions of farmers that produce our food still don’t earn enough to feed their families. It’s time for that to change.

The Fairtrade Foundation works to connect disadvantaged producers with consumers, empowering producers and ensuring fair trading conditions whilst strengthening their position in the community.

At Babipur, ensuring our suppliers are committed to sustainability, fair working conditions and fair pricing for all involved is very important to us. As consumers, we are becoming increasingly concerned with sustainability and fair trade practices. Sometimes it’s not always easy to know what you can do to help. Here’s a few simple ideas, perhaps some or all of which you are already doing but help us to spread the word about fair trade.

Bananas

Buying Fairtrade bananas ensures that producers receive a minimum price for their produce and funds to invest in their local community with improved workplace conditions. One in three bananas sold in the UK is Fairtrade which makes a huge difference.

Chocolate

A popular food all around the world but growing cocoa is no easy task. Fairtrade works towards a more sustainable future for the farmers who keep us fuelled and happy with delicious treats. To yield crops of profitable cocoa take dedication and commitment. It takes over five years for a plantation to produce the pods required and during this time they must be protected from the elements. Its no easy task with challenges from wind, sun, pests and disease. Due to the poor benefits to cocoa farming, encouraging young people to adopt the profession in challenging with the average farmer being 50! So it is all our interest to support Fairtrade chocolate and keep this skilled profession alive and sustainable.

At Babipur we now stock the very delicious range from The Raw Chocolate Company. Their multi-award winning vegan, organic, fairtrade, and kosher Chocolate is pretty special and you can read more about it on the blog here. With supermarkets and chocolate brands moving away from the Fairtrade label, we decided to source some ethical chocolate and snacks. The Fairtrade label is important because it helps to make cocoa farming more sustainable by ensuring farmers get paid the Fairtrade Premium. This premium is used to invest in business or community projects and is often the only way that farmers can provide for themselves and their communities.

You can choose from a variety of ready made delicious treats, or if you fancy a bit of chocolate experimentation of your own, there are lovely ingredients to help create your own masterpiece!

 

Image credit to Siobhàn Danielle Draper Etherington from Capture The Rainbow Photography

Gorgeous pic from Emma Jones of homemade chocolate using The Raw Chocolate Company ingredients

Coffee

We have rapidly become a nation of coffee lovers over the past few years. Around the world, coffee us one of the most popular beverages. A whopping 125 million people worldwide depend on coffee of their livelihoods but sadly many fail to earn the living they need to survive from coffee. Coffee production is subject to extreme weather conditions and this severely impacts on availability and causes huge fluctuation in price, making income difficult to predict. The supply chain is complex and farmers have little idea of what their coffee ends up selling for. Fairtrade guarantees a minimum price for coffee which aims to cover production and maintain sustainability even when the market price falls below expected.

Cotton

“Cotton farmers in developing countries, including leading producers like India and China, live in hardship. As many as 100 million households are directly engaged in cotton production and an estimated 300 million people work in the cotton sector when family labour, farm labour and workers in ancillary services such as transportation, ginning, baling and storage are taken into account. For farmers, the challenges range from the impact of climate change, poor prices for seed cotton, through to competition from highly subsidised producers in rich countries and poor terms of trade. In particular, government subsidies for cotton farmers in rich countries, particularly the US, create a market with artificially low prices that small-scale farmers are unable to compete in. Fairtrade cotton was launched to put the spotlight on these farmers who are often left invisible, neglected and poor at the end of a long and complex cotton supply chain. ” (Fairtrade Foundation).

Little Green Radicals

Image courtesy of Little Green Radicals

We are proud to work closely with Little Green Radicals who are an extremely ethical company and take Fairtrade very seriously. When you buy LGR you can rest assured that they know who makes the clothes, what conditions they work in, how they are made and what impact they have on the environment. #whomademyclothes is a campaign for transparency around working conditions and environmental impact in the fashion industry. Here are some of the people who bring us beautiful GOTS certified, Fairtrade organic clothes from LGR.

Flowers

Fairtrade works together with 50,000 flower workers to get a fairer deal. When you buy Fairtrade flowers, they have a traceable source to the original farm and that the employees will be ensured safe working conditions and investment into local communities. So don’t just say it with flowers, make sure they are Fairtrade too.

Toys

One of our favourite brands here at Babipur is Lanka Kade. A very ethical company that strive to improve the working conditions and lives of people who bring us such beautiful things for our little ones to cherish and learn. They believe in giving ‘real opportunities to real people to enable their independence and give them the ability to provide for themselves and their families with pride’. Although Lanka Kade is not Fairtrade certified, they operate in an ethical and fair trade manner and are members of BAFTS*.

What Lanka Kade day:

‘Our team of immensely skilled weavers are responsible for hand weaving 100% of Lanka Kade’s doll fabrics. Rajapkshe, Agnus and Somawathe are all beyond retirement age but retain tremendous enthusiasm for a tradition that is sadly dying out in Sri Lanka. We remain committed to supporting these intrepid pensioners and have helped recruit new, younger team members; Premalatha and Kanthi to help this proud tradition live on.’

What Agnes says:

“My job is to wind the yarn onto each spindle needed for the warp and weft of the hand looms. My wage pays for little extras like temple donations, ice creams for my grandchildren and bus fares to visit my children in other areas. I want to continue work to retain my independence and to be useful as no one else would employ me because of my age, I enjoy the company of the other weavers.”

A very smiley Agnes!

Lanka Kade prohibit trade accounts from selling Lanka Kade products on third party websites such as eBay and Amazon. This prevents ‘showrooming’ and support the high street, and stops the brand being damaged by products being represented in a way that does not reflect the integrity and value of the company. We think thats pretty special and requires recognition.

If you have ever had the pleasure of receiving a Lanka Kade product, you will know that each item comes with details about the origins of that specific item and who was responsible for making it. This really is a fantastic example of transparency and the ‘come on in’ campaign.

Our LK Welsh Dragon is made by Simithra who says “I left school and got a job to earn money enabling my younger brothers and sisters to continue to go to school. I later married and then came the best day of my life; my daughter was born. Soon after my husband left and my brother passed away. My main priority was looking after my daughter so I came to this company. With my salary I am funding my daughters education and I hope this helps her have a good life.”

This is Simithra who makes the beautiful Welsh Dragon

 

 

 

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3 Responses

  1. Jo says:

    Such a fab post! Great to know more about fair trade and why it’s so important

  2. Great post. Wonderful to see all the steps Babi Pur take to ensure they support Fairtrade and the producers, and great to get more information as to what we can do. Thank you x

  3. Noeleen Wiseman says:

    Lovely to see some background on some of the brands you stock. I have been making a conscious choice to shop more ethically these days and Babipur is becoming a first port of call, or an ‘everything under one roof’ for me now.😄

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