Fairtrade Fortnight

This year’s Fairtrade Fortnight runs from 22nd February – 7th March 2010.

The Fairtrade Foundation is the independent non-profit organisation that licenses use of the FAIRTRADE Mark on products in the UK in accordance with internationally agreed Fairtrade standards.   Fairtrade Fortnight is an annual event which aims to encourage people to make a difference to the lives of producers in the developing world by choosing fair trade.

Essentially, it’s about giving a fair deal to the people who produce our food in some of the world’s poorest countries. Fair-trading schemes usually aim to pay a premium over the market rate for goods. This ensures that workers get a fair wage and are treated well, and that communities in poor countries can use profits to invest in their future.
This year the Fairtrade Foundation are asking consumers to join in on the “The Big Swap”. For two whole weeks consumers will be asked to swop their usual stuff for Fairtrade stuff.  So your usual bananas for Fairtrade bananas, your usual red wine for a fair-trade option and your usual cuppa for a Fairtrade cuppa.  It is hoped that every swop will prove that the people of the UK want producers in the developing world to get a fairer deal.

The foundation think this is a brilliantly small step to making the world a fairer place meaning all can show their support for developing world producers through what you buy. Two billion people – a third of humanity – survive on less than $2 a day. Unfair trade rules keep them in poverty, but they face the global challenges of food shortages and climate change too.

The Fairtrade foundation strongly believes that developing world producers should be in control of their own lives by simply getting a better deal for the work that they do. 

To quote the BBC Food website:  “There are sceptics who regard fair trade as unfair interference that encourages overproduction of certain crops and makes farmers dependent on handouts.” 

Now it’s over to you…

So, a few questions for you to spark some debate today:

  • Do you think fair trade products taste better than organic or local or food sourced from elsewhere?
  • If it isn’t about taste, is it a product only purchased for the ethical reasons? If that is the case is it truly sustainable as a concept?
  • Do you trust it? Who enforces such a standard when it is applied on such a grand scale?
  • Have you ever wondered whether your money really makes it to the person who needs it the most?

June 09 – Green Vision

foodhall_green

During Recycle Week, 22nd to 28th June, Gloucestershire Trading Standards Service virtual interactive VISION food hall introduced a host of useful recycling messages online.

VISION (Virtual Interactive Shopping Information Online) is a web-based interactive food toolkit to help consumers make more informed choices about the food they eat. The centrepiece of the site is an interactive food hall to explore and the ‘Are You Balanced?’ challenge based on the Food Standards Agency eatwell plate.

Working in conjunction with the county council’s Waste Management Unit, VISION can now demonstrate how easy it is to recycle everyday items from food and drink cans to cardboard cereal boxes. The site also points you in the right direction should you need more information.

Cllr Stan Waddington, Lead Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “We want to use as many ways as possible to get out the recycling message. Linking up with the VISION project is another way to get people thinking about the waste they produce and how they dispose of it. This is just the beginning of the close working between waste management and the VISION project.”

Cllr Will Windsor-Clive, Cabinet Member for Community Safety, said: “What a great way to get even more value out of the VISION food hall. Shopping and cooking inevitably lead to some waste. Responsible consumers think not only about what they buy and eat, but about how they can reduce waste and recycle more.”

This year, the theme for Recycle Week was ‘let’s waste less’. You can still choose from a number of pledges to recycle more and cut down on your waste by going to the homepage. In addition you can register your support by using your mobile phone. Text PLEDGE to 60030 and pledge to waste less.

Eddie Coventry, Head of Trading Standards, said: “The recycling messages have really added value to what we are trying to achieve as a service and we are hopeful that the general public will find this a useful resource. VISION set out to provide an interactive, engaging element to the way the service presents aspects of food labelling, health and nutrition, and with the latest additions is all the more a rounded product.”

To find out more log on to www.visionfoodhall.com