Fairtrade Fortnight, the annual celebration of all things Fairtrade, starts on Monday 21 February and over the course of 14 days we’re encouraged to think about the farmers and workers who produce the treats we love. The theme of this year’s Fairtrade Fortnight is Choose The World You Want with an emphasis on making sure trade works for both people and planet and in particular exploring how choosing Fairtrade can help some of the world’s most marginalised producers tackle the effects of climate change. There’s a festival of events lined up from fair trade campaigners, businesses and organisations – including SEUK members like the Co-op and Cafe Direct and they’re all free to attend.
The eBay for Change programme, a groundbreaking collaboration between the World Fair Trade Organization and Social Enterprise UK has shown that there are lots of synergies between SEUK members and fair trade. Many of our members are also working in Fairtrade and here are three you may not already know about:
Zaytoun was founded in 2004 as a way to create a market for olive oil from Palestine. This oil, now Fairtrade certified, forges a direct connection to Palestinian farming communities, supporting their livelihoods and carrying a message in a bottle – the story of the people of Palestine, Investing 100% of its profits into supporting fair trade farmers in Palestine, the Zaytoun range has expanded to include a whole host of Palestinian produce from dates and almonds to za’atar and freekeh, many of which are Fairtrade certified.
Liberation Foods specialises in nuts grown and harvested by the people who own the business. Working in places as diverse as Malawi, India and Bolivia, Liberation foods aims to support vulnerable communities and help build resilience. During the pandemic they were able to use the Fairtrade premium to support the gatherer communities in Bolivia who harvest their Brazil nuts. These nuts grow wild in the Amazon rainforest and are gathered by indigenous communities to provide an income. The premium was used to provide food and healthcare during lockdowns. You can buy Fairtrade food from Liberation under their own label and they also supply supermarkets with own brand Fairtrade nuts.
Y.O.U Underwear’s founder Sarah is trying to change the world one pair of pants at a time. Every piece of Y.O.U underwear is made from Fairtrade and GOTS certified organic cotton that is PETA-Approved vegan. As conventional cotton is one of the world’s most polluting crops, choosing Fairtrade organic cotton is a good way to support both people and planet. Working with thousands of smallholder cotton farmers in India they also operate on a buy one give two model where two pairs of pants are donated to someone in need – either in the UK or Kenya – for every pair you buy. Buy direct or via the eBay for Change hub.