Fairtrade Fortnight runs from February 27th– 12th March this year and is an annual campaign created by the Fairtrade Foundation to spread awareness surrounding Fairtrade products. When you purchase Fairtrade products, you are in turn helping to support communities abroad, providing ethical working standards and a better quality of living for those who farm and produce the goods.
This year’s focus: The climate crisis
The most common and favourite fairtrade products available are: bananas, cocoa and coffee. These are grown in tropical areas, which means that your morning coffee has travelled a long way. Bananas are the world’s most popular fruit, but the escalating climate crisis means that the future of bananas is uncertain, along with the livelihoods of the people who grow them.
Buying Fairtrade products is one of the best ways to help fund environmental management mechanisms to protect the crops and make an ethical stance against the exploitation of farmers/ communities. There are currently 1.9 million fairtrade farmers that are working across 71 countries, which demonstrates the scale of the impact of Fairtrade.
Fairtrade farmers are at the forefront of environmental impacts influenced by climate change, as these areas are the most vulnerable to extreme weather conditions, crop diseases and drought. Generally those that will be most affected by climate change, are those se who have contributed to it the least. As a result, there is more than meets the eye with fairtrade, and by buying the right product you are not only helping those workers live a better quality of life, but you would be contributing to future food security and sustainability. If you want to find out more about climate change and fairtrade click this link: Climate change – (fairtrade.net).
- University of Reading are supporting Fairtrade Fortnight – on Thursday 2nd March at 19:00 the RUSU quiz night will feature a Fairtrade quiz round.
- The Chaplaincy are hosting a Pancake Day drop-in event with with Fairtrade toppings on 21 Feb, 17:00-19:00.
- Students can earn 150 Green Points on Doing UoR Bit for every Fairtrade purchase.
The University is currently working hard to regain our fair trade-certification, since we fully support fairtrade. We are still advocates of spreading awareness surrounding fairtrade, and we offer fairtrade products in food outlets on campus such as tea and coffee, and you can find more items in your local campus co-op. Aside from bananas, coffee, tea and cocoa there are many more fairtrade products you can look out for next time you are shopping where you may consider making an ethical decision such as : coconut oil, cotton, fruits, juices, herbs , spices, sugar, wine, gold, flowers and honey.
Julia Cope, Sustainability Services