To make it easier for you to fulfil your commitments, our team has put together these guides to assist you to take action!
Campaign for Fairtrade in your community
If you’ve started buying Fairtrade products and want to take your commitment one step further, a great way of doing so is encouraging other people to buy Fairtrade, too.
This ‘How To’ guide is designed to help you campaign for the adoption of Fairtrade in your local community, whether it’s among your friends, local cafes or your place of work or study.
Every single person can make a difference in the battle against extreme poverty. One of our greatest strengths is the power we have as consumers. The products we choose to buy are reproduced in bulk, and those we don’t are not. So consciously choosing to buy Fairtrade products is an extremely effective way of influencing the market and ensuring that every person in the production chain is paid a fair price.
1: Consider who to talk to - and what change you would like them to make
For Fairtrade products to do their good work best, it’s important that the consumption of Fairtrade goods is not limited to private households, but adopted as widely as possible. Some of the best places to begin targeting are schools, your workplace or locally-run restaurants and coffee shops. Start by targeting just one of these - and then use that success to get others on board.
The transition to Fairtrade for a producing community represents not only an economic boost, but a social and environmental progression as well. For example:
Fairtrade premiums paid to farmers in Makaibari Tea Estate, West Bengal, have supported the transition from monoculture tea farming, which was bleaching the landscape of nutrients and biodiversity, to an ecologically rich permaculture, with tea growing amongst bamboo, herbs and clover. Half of the estate is given over to subtropical forest (home to two Bengal tigers, leopards, barking deer and hornbill). Furthermore, Fairtrade premiums have empowered the Joint Body (an administrative council made up of elected workers and management representatives) to provide microcredit, allowing producers to purchase lifestock for milk and manure production, with excess manure added to the community compost heap.
In Kenya, a booming Fairtrade flower market has provided the opportunity for Finlay flowers to invest in 30 nursery schools in the area, as well as equipping the library at the local Marinyn Secondary School.
You can read more about these and other fairtrade success stories at http://www.fairtrade.org.uk/producers/default.aspx
You can also find out who else near you is working to take their community fairtrade at http://www.fairtrade.org.uk/get_involved/campaigns/default.aspx
Start by approaching others – schoolmates, colleagues, fellow customers, neighbours – and talk to them about the disadvantages of unethical products and the advantages of Fairtrade. Get them on board with ideas and support.
Once you have a group of people behind you, approach whoever is in charge of the organisation you’re targeting – your principal, your boss, the manager of the local restaurant or café. You will know best how to initiate this – whether by formal letter, official appointment or casual conversation. Make your case for Fairtrade:
3: Congratulate & Consume
If the organisation you're targeting goes fairtrade, you need to come up with a plan to help celebrate and promote the fact - including making an effort to buy the product yourself.
Suggestions to do this include:
Dealing with Challenges
The main problem you will encounter when campaigning for the adoption of Fairtrade is the debate about cost. Yes, Fairtrade goods are a little more expensive than many (but by no means all!) of their non-Fairtrade equivalents. If this argument is made, have two strong counter-arguments ready:
Find out More
The Fairtrade Foundation - www.fairtrade.org.uk - has lots of resources to help you take your community fairtrade.