2012 is a great year, the Fairtrade Foundation based in the UK has thought and will be launching later this year a big Fairtrade event to encourage you and me to buy our stuff fair.
Let’s take an example. I personally love bananas. They are a great allrounder in the vegan lifestyle (did you know you can make vegan french toast with banana?). In the UK like probably also in your country, they eat lots of bananas (around 7bn a year to be precise, and 95% of households buy the product). Retailers are fighting for these customers by cutting costs. So you get your cheap bananas, great! But what about the people who produce them? “The costs of low retail prices are passed down the supply chain – the multiples pressure their suppliers to cut wholesale prices, and the suppliers do the same to banana growers.” In short, buying cheap bananas means not giving these people enough to survive on the work they do. Fairtrade is an answer to that. More on bananas you can find in Bananas: Behind the Price Tag.
There is no doubt that the best buying solution would be to take your bike to the next farmer’s market or directly to the next farm. If you however like your coffee, tea or chocolate, you’ll have to have it coming from very far away. Out of sight, out of mind, right? How your banana’s are produced is simply beyond your imaginination and concern.
But you know what? The world will not change without you. Like the Fairtrade Foundation explains, it’s all about customers choices: “where we find that UK shoppers are demanding more Fairtrade vegetables and producers wish to supply them, the standard could be extended to other vegetables such as baby corn, fresh chilli and broccoli.”
Are you up to take a little step towards fairtrade? “Like swapping your tea to Fairtrade, or a bigger step, like asking everyone in your office to do it too.” You can start now and then participate in the STEP project in February. I think you’ll taste the difference when buying fair. Watch the Fair Story for inspiration.
I know all of this is nothing new but hey, have you changed your habits of buying chocolate yet? If not, well then this reminder is necessary.