Fair Trade Fortnight is an initiative of the Fair Trade Association Australia and New Zealand (FTAANZ) and runs from May 5 through to May 20. It’s their annual awareness raising campaign and aims to promote the difference Fair Trade makes to millions of people in developing countries.
Fair Trade is all about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. Or in the words of Kevin Rudd it gives them the opportunity to have “A fair shake of the sauce bottle”.
In addition to providing a fair and stable price for their products, Fair Trade is helping producers and their communities build better roads, access health care and send their kids to school. It also enables them to grow and develop their businesses, ensuring they can improve life for their families and communities well into the future.
The scope of Fair Trade reaches across 62 developing countries and encompasses almost all of Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, Oceania and the poorest countries in Asia.
With over 10.4 Million Australians consuming coffee in an average week (Roy Morgan poll Nov 2011) chances are you will recognise the Fair Trade label. In fact, if you work or visit our Headquarters East Burwood offices, you may have seen the Fair Trade coffee and tea available in our staff tea rooms and meetings. CFA HQ is now a recognised Fair Trade Workplace having recently received accreditation by FTAANZ.
But it’s not just coffee, tea and cocoa - an array of goods are produced by Fair Trade farms. Did you know that flower farms have long been a key employer in Kenya, providing jobs in areas where there are few alternatives and ensuring a valuable source of export revenue for the country? With more than half of Kenya’s population of 37 million living in poverty, the cut flower industry plays an important role in providing employment and alleviating poverty.
As CFA’s contribution to Fair Trade fortnight, HQ will host a staff morning tea on Tuesday 15 May. This will give staff an opportunity to learn more about this fantastic initiative whilst enjoying Fair Trade wares.
Our District offices don’t miss out either. To encourage staff to think about supporting Fair Trade next time they go shopping – there will be a parcel of Fair Trade goodies coming their way soon.
So how can you support Fair Trade Fortnight? Organise a Fair Trade morning tea, or invite a friend out for a Fair Trade coffee, ask your local supermarket and coffee shop to sell Fair Trade products or just tell your friends on facebook about your favourite Fair Trade product.
Simple things to do that can go a long way.
Happy Fair Trade Fortnight— and enjoy!
Author: Fiona Mallia, CFA Sustainability Officer