Do you drink Fair Trade coffee or tea? Ever eaten a “Devine” chocolate bar? Do you always make sure that you chose the Fair Trade banana’s in the supermarket? Did you know that you can also get Fair Trade gold as well as Fair Trade toilet rolls? Fair Trade is a phenomena that is rising around the world and South Derbyshire Greens are keen to know more about the movement.
The Fair Trade movement started in 1992 when a group of charities that do considerable work in developing companies got together to form a foundation. Their premise is to provide an alternative form of international trading conditions which allow farmers and workers to financially benefit from growing crops and produce. Many of the Fair Trade producing companies are partially owned by the farmers themselves. The Fair Trade Foundation states that it is “Working to secure a better deal for workers and farmers”. It also cares for the welfare of workers, ensuring that working conditions are of a good standard. It is a global concern with 1.5 million farmers and workers involved across the planet.
The ethos of Fair Trade fits beautifully into the policies and ethos of the Green Party. We (I speak as a Green Party member) believe in social justice and greater equality, which is what Fair Trade aspires to do. Although international import of produce is not necessarily encouraged; the 2015 manifesto states that the Green Party will “work to reduce food imports and increase home and local food production where feasible” there are some produce that are very difficult to grow in our climate. Have you ever seen a chocolate plantation in the UK? However, Green Party Policy recognises that sustainable societies are vital across the globe and therefore has included the following policy:
IP122 A General Agreement on Sustainable Trade, under which fair trade rules (where producers are guaranteed a reasonable price for their products before planting, and a portion of the payment is set aside for community development) would become a requisite for international trade and local supply of goods would be preferred, should replace the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). A World Localisation Organisation should replace the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
To find out more about the Fair Trade movement, Fair Trade produce and Fair Trade shops join South Derbyshire Greens
May 31st, 7pm
17 Bath Street,
Ashby de la Zouch LE65 2FH
Mandy McIntosh, the founder of Fair2all, will speak. She has been involved with the Fair Trade movement for over 20 years and has written a number of magazine articles about the movement. An added bonus is that the talk will be in a Fair Trade shop, and there will be refreshments on offer.
Marianne Bamkin, South Derbyshire Greens