It’s Fairtrade Fortnight!
Fairtrade Fortnight runs from the 22nd February – 7th March. For these two weeks, thousands of people across the UK will come together to share the stories of the people who grow our food and drinks, mine our gold and grow the cotton in our clothes - people who are often exploited and underpaid.
But why should fair trade be important to us in a market town in Shropshire?
Like the rest of our country, Ludlow has been greatly affected by a challenging year. We’ve had to face the impact of climate change causing flooding in the town, the Covid 19 pandemic and the consequences flowing from Brexit.
Producers in developing countries have been facing exactly the same challenges but for them, it’s even more extreme.
Countries such as those in sub-saharan Africa and Bangladesh are suffering catastrophic effects associated with climate change. They’ve had drought leading to crops completely failing, and devastating levels of flooding.
Covid 19 has driven people to desperation: since they do not have the benefit of Government and local support schemes, they face a choice between eating or breaking lockdown and risking the infection. If they do become ill, they don’t have access to the same level of health care that we do and are unlikely to be treated at all.
Tariffs imposed by our Government since Brexit are driving producers to a state where they simply cannot afford to live. Ghanaian banana growers, for example, have recently been landed with extreme tariffs which are threatening them with ruin.
Having faced the challenges that you have yourselves over the past year, I’m sure you can relate to this.
Our town is proud of the support it shows for our local farmers and producers. We have come together as a community and have rallied around them in their time of need. We are powerful together, and it is vital that we think of producers in developing countries and support them in the same way. After all, they are the source of many of the things we take for granted – our clothes, our food, our tea, and coffee.
You can stand up for these farmers and workers through your shopping choices by choosing Fairtrade.
The Fairtrade mark guarantees that the producers have received a fair price and the goods have been produced to high environmental standards. Fairtrade products are available through several independent retailers in Ludlow such as Broad Bean, Myriad and of course the supermarkets. Just look for the Fairtrade logo.
There are other retailers who also pay close attention to the sourcing of their goods and will be able to tell you how their products have been sourced and that they have not been the subject of exploitative practices. You can buy from them online: Purple Panda (formerly Kaboodle); La Jewellery; Eclectica.
Supporting them through this will help them as well as helping the producers.
Two charities that work specifically in the area of overseas development, Oxfam and Traidcraft, have trading outlets in our town. Both are closed at present due to lockdown, but items can be purchased from both through their online shops.
To find out more about Fairtrade in Ludlow, including where you can buy fairly traded goods and how to join the campaign to make trade fair, please visit the Ludlow Fairtrade Town Group’s website
This Fairtrade Fortnight, it’s more important than ever that we join the movement to make trade fair. Please take the opportunity to look at your shopping basket and switch to products which are good for our planet and its people. This way, you can support our hard-working producers and retailers both locally and globally and help to build a better future for us all.
Jenny Hume – Chair, Ludlow Fairtrade Town Group
Published by Ludlow Guide on
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