London plans for Fairtrade Fortnight

14 January 2010

posted by Sophi

Despite the inclement weather, people from all across London met last night in City Hall to share their plans for Fairtrade Fortnight 2010, themed The Big Swap. Lots of lovely resources, posters , leaflets and cute stickers are available from the Fairtrade Foundation . The focus this year is on trying to get the big tea companies to swap to Fairtrade . Traidcraft has got together with the Women’s Institute to create a natty campaign pack called ‘The Big Brew’

Everything stops for Fairtrade tea - and Sam Stern's Divine chocolate fridge cake!

Cafédirect and Divine both have sampling packs you can request if you want to run your own event, and delicious recipes you can download, for the perfect Fairtrade tea party. 

A wonderful range of events are being organised, from Mad Hatter’s Tea parties to Strictly Fairtrade Dances, events in shops, libraries, cafes and churches , and an impressive range of events for children, schools and teachers, something for everyone. We also had a session on our fabulous new website so that everyone can now confidently blog about what is going on in their area.

If you want to know more about what is happening in your borough , or you want to set up an event go to www.fairtradelondon.org.uk

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Where does Nestle take Fairtrade?

11 December 2009

Posted by Sophi:

While the world powers battle it out in Copenhagen over who should commit what to combating climate change, the poorer countries yet again are objecting to being both unequally affected, and unfairly pressed to reduce their carbon footprint.  A subtext to this summit, as with all other world summits these days is – is it Governments or global business with the most power and capability to make real change happen?

In the Fairtrade world, the power of global business to effect change is currently back in the spotlight too, with the announcement that Nestle is to be awarded the license to carry the Fairtrade Mark on its four-finger KitKat  bars.

While everyone welcomes the increase in income promised to smallscale cocoa farmers and sugar farmers, even those who are deeply committed to fairer trade are conflicted over this development – see Rob Greenland’s  blog , but many, such as Michael Niemann and Joe Turner  are concerned about where these global companies will take Fairtrade.  Fairtrade London is hosting a debate about it too.

We see Fairtrade as part of a bigger movement to fundamentally change the way business is done, shifting money and decision-making into the hands of the many, and out of the hands of the few. Activists have worked hard to see that happen, and consumers deserve to see real commitment, and not lip service to fairer trade and better business practice.


Fairtrade anniversary tea at 10 Downing Street

15 October 2009
Sophi Tranchell with Brad Hill of The Co-operative taking tea at Downing Street

Sophi Tranchell with Brad Hill of The Co-operative taking tea at Downing Street

Posted by Sophi:

What a delightful way to start the week! Tea in Downing Street to celebrate 15 years of the Fairtrade Mark.  A wonderful collection of everyday heroes who have made Fairtrade what it is today.  From Justino Peck from the Toledo Cocoa Growers in Belize, whose story has inspired consumers like Bruce Crowther who made Garstang the first Fairtrade town in the world, spawning a social movement across the western world.  There were three 15-year-old campaigners and people from Fairtrade Towns and Cities across UK, and of course Harriet Lamb, the head of the Foundation and lots of her lovely team. 

Sarah Brown hosted the event and announced that 10 Downing Street was now officially Fairtrade, a commitment that meant that when they host international dignitaries for events like G20  they will be introduced to the best of Fairtrade. In her speech she acknowledged role of Fairtrade companies like Divine and Cafédirect and described the impact on millions of smallscale farmers across the world.

There was tea, coffee, sandwiches, fruit skewers and a magnificent chocolate cake, but it was the selection of people that really made the event, a roll call for Fairtrade.  Representatives from founders’ organisations like Paul from Christian Aid which has a network of committed and active supporters, Deborah from the WDM which has continued to expose the causes of global poverty, Paul from Traidcraft whose network of Fairtraders continue to sell Fairtrade goods tirelessly through rain and snow, Kevin from CAFOD, Tammy for the Women Institute.  Louise from Comic Relief which has brought pzazz, celebrity endorsement and money to the party, Brad Hill who helped us get that first Co-op Divine bar on the shelf in 2000 and was part of Co-op brave move to be the first retailer in Britain to convert a whole category to Fairtrade; Chocolate in 2002, followed by coffee in 2003.  DFID who supported the establishment of Divine with a loan guarantee and have continued in their unstinting support Fairtrade though out the last ten years.  Harry Hill was strutting his stuff, he visited Ghana early on to promote Fairtrade banana, and has now leant his name to Liberation the Fairtrade Nut Company you can try Harry Nuts in Sainsburys

An finally the Innovators who were creative enough to think of a different way of doing business and were brave enough to take the leap; Martin Metyard from the Co-op, Andy Good from Equal Exchange, a fair trade workers co-op whose latest products include Palestinian olive oil available through Sainsbury, and Robin Murray from Twin which founded Cafédirect, Divine and more recently Liberation.

With a capacity of 50 you are never going to include everyone but congratulations to Sarah Brown and the Foundation for a impressive turnout and Happy 15th  Birthday!