When you buy Fair Trade goods you are not donating money to a ‘charity’ that sends aid to the poor, you are supporting a trading system that will guarantee them a fair deal.
When you buy Fair Trade goods you are paying a fair price for good quality produce and ensuring that the profits go to the farmers and the communities where the food is grown rather than into the pockets of ‘middlemen’ or the coffers of wealthy multinational companies.
You can, of course, buy Traidcraft fairly traded goods from Carlton’s very own Fair Trade Stall. However if you do all your shopping at a supermarket you can also find products with the Fairtrade label there. Currently more than 300 coffee, tea, fresh and dried fruit, chocolate, cocoa, juice, sugar and honey products carry the FAIRTRADE mark so there is plenty of choice. So if you do not like ‘our’ brand of fair trade coffee try another one !
Fairly traded goods are slightly more expensive than the equivalent unfairly traded brands but the difference in price is not usually very great. You do not get the very cheap economy brands or the special promotions in fairly traded goods but quality-wise they are good value for money. Most of us have a standard of living that is beyond anything a Third World farmer could dream of so surely we cannot begrudge spending a few extra pennies to ensure that the food we eat is not obtained by exploiting the poor.
Supermarket chains usually believe that their customers are only interested in bargains and want everything to be cheap, cheap, cheap. But if we make a point of buying fairly traded products the supermarkets will eventually get the message that their customers are prepared to pay a little bit extra for ethically traded goods. Similarly we need to remind our politicians that the Trade Justice issue is important. Alistair Burt, our MP does take the issue seriously and wants a fairer deal for poor countries on international trade - it would be a good thing if his constituents encouraged him in this.
So please buy fairly traded goods whenever possible !