Welcome to Fairtrade Fortnight: two weeks of celebrating and learning all about fair trade, ethical supply chains and how we as consumers can support a more just and equal trade system for producers all around the world.
There may be actions in your daily routine that you don’t think twice about, like putting on a t-shirt or sipping a morning cup of coffee. However, if you take a closer look at these threads or ask yourself where the coffee beans are coming from, you’ll find stories (both good and bad) behind these everyday products we consume.
By purchasing products that are certified through Fairtrade or the World Fair Trade Organisation, you’re standing with millions of farmers, producers and workers around the world and empowering communities by tackling poverty, gender inequality and poor working conditions.
So what happens when I purchase something labelled as Fairtrade?
To buy a Fairtrade product means you are a part of one of the largest movements for change. Fairtrade certification can help lift a farmer or worker out of poverty, give a child an education, and grow a community or a business. Fairtrade is a tool for creating this change.
How does it work?
- The Fairtrade Minimum Price: Protects small-scale farmers against falling prices by ensuring a fixed minimum price for producers. This is particularly important for communities working in volatile industries like coffee and cocoa farming. Many sectors often force a farmer to sell below the cost of production, perpetuating a cycle of poverty and inequality.
- The Fairtrade Premium: Is a fixed additional amount of money that provides farmers and workers with the capacity to invest in improving the quality of their businesses and communities.
Check out this video below of a coffee co-operative in Papua New Guinea, Highlands Organic Agriculture Cooperative. The money they receive from HOAC through the Fairtrade Premium is used to invest in access to clean drinking water, roofing irons, pulping machines, and most importantly: classrooms for their children.
How can I get involved?
Come and participate in UC Sustainability’s events over the next two weeks, and get behind the fair trade movement on campus with us!
Fairtrade and the SDGs Film Night
Learn about and delve into the connection between fair trade and the UN Sustainable Development Goals at our film night next week! Plus, free pizza and Fairtrade chocolate provided. See the Facebook event here.
Clothes Swap Party
Learn about the impact that the fast fashion industry has on our people and our planet at our Clothes Swap Party! Donate your good quality clothes you no longer wear and come away with some ‘new’ second hand threads, for free. BYO cup and sip on a Fairtrade coffee as you browse. See the Facebook event for all the details and how to participate here.
This message was brought to you by the UC Sustainability Office. Stay connected and follow us on Facebook, Instagram or sign up to our newsletter to stay in the loop about campus sustainability. This is part of our contribution to Fairtrade Fortnight, where we encourage our UC community to get involved and support the empowerment of producers overseas. If you’d like some more information on our Fair Trade University, see our website.