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Fairtrade Organic September

Did you know that over 50% of Fairtrade farmers choose to grow their produce organically? By working with nature they protect the environment and themselves from harmful chemicals, and they can improve their livelihoods, as they often get a better price too.

We’re celebrating Organic September with our friends over at the Soil Association by sharing ten of our favourite Fairtrade and organic products over on our blog. With over 1000 available it was really hard to choose!

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Easyjet now offering Clipper Fairtrade Teas

  Six organic and Fairtrade teas from Clipper’s portfolio is now available to over 90 million passengers annually. Not only is the tea organic it will also be served in cups made from plants not plastic. The plastic-free cups are fully compostable, made from sustainably-sourced card and lined with plant-based PLA. Clipper never uses bleach to whiten the bag and is working to develop a fully-biodegradable, GM-free tea bag from solely plant-based materials.

Founded in Dorset in 1984 and now the world’s largest Fairtrade tea brand, Clipper is thrilled to be supplying easyJet and looking forward to seeing Clipper’s Fairtrade tea served in the skies for the first time.”

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Is the Coffee Industry Guilty of Exploitation?

Is the Coffee Industry Guilty of Exploitation?

by Peter d’Angremond of Max Havelaar Foundation

The price for Arabica coffee beans has plummeted in recent weeks to below production costs, jeopardising the livelihoods of 25 million coffee farming families worldwide. Peter d’Angremond of Max Havelaar Foundation discusses the impact of the price crash and what we must do now to protect coffee farmers.

Coffee farmers rang the alarm bell this week due to the price of coffee beans dropping to a dramatic low. This threatens the already fragile existence of 25 million farming families worldwide. We can no longer turn a blind eye to what is happening.

This week, Brazil and Colombia, who together produce half of the world’s coffee, published a affirming the fact that farmers are forced to sell their coffee far below cost price.

The disastrous situation in the coffee sector is confirmed by recent figures. At the end of 2016, the price of Arabica coffee on the New York Stock Exchange was $1.55 per pound (454 grams). Since then the price has dropped further to a dramatic low point this week of less than one dollar per pound. Due to the extreme decline of 30% in price, farmers could be facing an annual loss of more than 11 billion dollars of income. No development programme can bridge this gap.

Sustainability is on everyone’s lips these days and often we think we are doing a good job. The coffee-producing countries state that while many large multinational companies do promote and act on sustainability, these activities are completely negated by their commercial practices. The recently released report ‘Coffee Barometer‘ comes to the same conclusion. Of the total value of coffee (around 200 billion dollars in 2015), only 10% stays in the countries of origin. In total, large companies spend approximately 350 million dollars a year on sustainability. Set against the income loss of 11 billion dollars, this is a drop in the ocean.

FOR 3 QUARTERS OF ALL PACKS OF COFFEE IN THE UK SUPERMARKET, NO PRICE SECURITY IS OFFERED FOR COFFEE FARMERS.

By paying prices that are too low, the coffee industry is at least partly responsible for human rights issues such as poverty, child labour, poor working conditions as well as environmental damage. In sustainability discussions, talking about a ‘decent price’ is taboo. Industry largely refuses to commit to decent prices for farmers.

In the UK, Fairtrade, which is the only certification mark that requires a minimum price of coffee buyers ($1.40 per pound), has a market share of around 25%. This means that for 3 quarters of all packs of coffee in the UK supermarket, no price security is offered for coffee farmers. They are then dependent on the vagaries of the market.

It is time that coffee brands, supermarkets and the industry take structural responsibility by adjusting their purchasing policy.

And do we, as consumers, want to be involved in the exploitation of coffee farmers by buying their products?

News Products

Fairtrade Easter Eggs………

Still on the hunt for an Easter egg? Well look no further! We’ve rounded up a selection of some of our Fairtrade favourites for you.

Choose Fairtrade this Easter and you’re closing the door on exploitation by supporting farmers and workers in their fight for a fairer deal. Through Fairtrade, thousands of cocoa farmers are earning their way out of poverty and transforming their futures by investing in vital training and better equipment so they can grow and sell more cocoa on fairer terms.

So if you’re planning on celebrating Easter by sharing a chocolate egg or two, take a look at this cracking line-up…

Aldi Single Origin Egg
A dark and milk chocolate egg printed with beautiful designs inspired by Peru and Ghana.£4.99

Where to buyfind your nearest Aldi store here.

Divine Tangy Orange Easter Egg
Divine have added two delicious new flavours of Easter eggs to their range this year – Tangy Orange and Mint Crisp. £4.99

Where to buyDivine’s online shop, Waitrose, Oxfam, Traidcraft, Ocado and many independent shops.

Co-op Irresistible Single Origin Ecuadorian Milk Chocolate Cocoa Pod
New from Co-op and voted best milk chocolate egg in a blind tasting by Good Housekeeping. Comes with milk truffles. £7

Where to buyfind your nearest Co-op store here.

Meaningful Chocolate Company, The Real Easter Egg
This special edition egg comes with an orange milk chocolate bar, a storybook about Easter and a cross keyring made from olive wood. £9.99

Where to buy: Traidcraft, Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, Waitrose and many independent shops.

Plamil Dairy Free Chocolate Egg
With all the deliciousness of milk chocolate without the dairy, this organic vegan egg is gluten and nut free and has ditched the plastic packaging too! £3.99

Where to buy: Plamil’s online shop, Holland & Barrett, Ethical Superstore.

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The world’s biggest fashion retailer of Fairtrade certified cotton……..

Dressmann, one of the leading fashion chains for menswear in Northern Europe, is set to become the world’s biggest fashion retailer of Fairtrade certified cotton when it launches a new range of t-shirts, boxer shorts and socks.

Dressmann has also committed to source 100% sustainable cotton by 2025 in an effort to improve social and environmental conditions across its entire supply chain. Fairtrade cotton farmers in India will benefit from increased Fairtrade sales and plan to invest in education projects and increasing environmentally friendly production.

“We are proud to be able to launch a range of clothing made from Fairtrade certified cotton, making us the biggest player in the sector! The Fairtrade label will initially launch on basic garments that are always in store, but this is just the beginning of our journey with Fairtrade, and we plan to introduce more clothing lines in Fairtrade certified cotton by 2018”, said Chessa Nilsen, Sustainability Lead at Dressmann.

The move will see the Norwegian apparel chain launch its new range of t-shirts, boxers and socks made from Fairtrade certified cotton in up to 500 stores across Europe in Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Austria and Germany, making them the largest global buyer of Fairtrade certified cotton in the apparel sector. The commitment means that the farmers who grew their cotton have met Fairtrade’s rigorous social, economic and environmental standards.

“It’s exactly when big volumes such as these are traded on Fairtrade terms that Fairtrade can have a truly transformative impact on cotton farming communities and their environment across Africa, Asia and Latin America. We hope that Dressmann’s Fairtrade commitment will inspire other major fashion brands and retailers to follow suit and scale up”, says Subindu Garkhel, Fairtrade’s Global Cotton Manager.

Great boost for farmers in India

In India, over 2,400 cotton farmers from Fairtrade certified cooperative Noble Ecotech have already benefitted from Fairtrade cotton sales. They have been able to purchase farm equipment, water tanks and school equipment for local children, and installed drainage in all fields, reducing their water consumption by approximately 40 percent.

“Before, we had to buy seeds and other farm inputs from local merchants each year and found ourselves in spiralling debt to them. Now, the Fairtrade-certified cooperative we are all members of buys cotton seed in large quantities which they sell to us farmers for a reasonable price. The cooperative buys all the cotton we grow and sells it for us. This means that individual farmers no longer have to chase buyers single-handedly”, farmer Chatr Singh explained recently when Dressmann’s parent company Varner and Fairtrade Norway visited India in October.

Farmers from Noble Ecotech plan to invest money earned from Fairtrade sales in establishing a centre for agricultural training where they can learn about efficient farming and cultivation of other crops, as well as how best to produce natural fertilizers and pesticides.

Traceability is important

All the Fairtrade certified cotton in Dressmann’s garments can be physically traced all the way back to the farmers’ cooperative. “Dressmann has committed to ensure that all the cotton we use by 2025 should come from sustainable sources, and Fairtrade is our preferred tool within this context. Fairtrade helps us increase our sustainability not only at the factory floor level, but also for the farmers who grow our cotton, “says Chessa Nilsen.

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The first ever shipment of African Fairtrade gold from Uganda has been delivered.

The first ever shipment of African Fairtrade gold from Uganda has been delivered. In 2016, Syanyonja Artisan Miners Alliance (SAMA), co-operative in Uganda became the first ever African gold mine to become Fairtrade certified. It’s been a long road from mine to market but soon African miners will get the same benefits as their Fairtrade counterparts in South America.
Life is tough for small-scale gold miners. Miners often work with their bare hands, forced to accept low, unfair prices from middle men. Gold mining is often the only form of employment and miners earn as little as £0.50 a day. But with support from Fairtrade, the formerly illegal miners are now registered with the local government and the improvements have been transformational.
Joseph Waffula, General Secretary of SAMA, is looking forward to the changes Fairtrade certification will bring. ‘When we get a Fairtrade price we’ll be able to educate our children and the community will also benefit as we’ll be able to support the health centre in Busitema.
‘We’d like to support the orphans with exercise books. Even buying an extra 12 books makes a big difference.’
The potential for Fairtrade Gold to change this industry is huge – from rings on fingers to parts in phones and even types of medical treatment! But the biggest change will be for the miners themselves.
In the words of Simon Wabwire, Chairman of SAMA: ‘It was like a dream to be certified – we worked hard. It was unbelievable when we heard.’
If you, or anyone you know, are looking to buy something special at Christmas (or any time of year) why not think about Fairtrade gold? Find your nearest stockist of Fairtrade gold.
Now that’s going for gold.