After today’s service at St Bride’s we are invited to stay after Church to join in our Extra Big Fairtrade Brunch! Today as we "Sit down for brunch, Stand up for farmers" the focus is on how smallholder farmers have an amazing potential to fight hunger in their communities if we help can help Traidcraft support them to do this.
There are two general misconceptions. The first is that the Fairtrade battle is won. Chocolate, tea, coffee, and many more products with the now familiar Fairtrade Mark are stacked high on our supermarket shelves. Something Traidcraft and our supporters can be proud to have helped bring about. However, it is a myth that the job is done. Unfortunately, injustice in trade and its resultant poverty is as much of a scandal now as it was 35 years ago, and right now we're still doing everything we can to tackle it directly.
The second misconception is that Traidcraft and Fairtrade are the same. They are not. Traidcraft is an independent trading company, with a linked development charity. We do not benefit from the sales of Fairtrade products in the supermarkets. Traidcraft trades with and supports the most vulnerable farmers and artisans (who could not cope with the demands or scale required by big business or the supermarkets). We pioneer to bring new commodities into the fair trade arena. Our linked development charity runs projects developing people’s potential to trade their own way out of poverty in their own countries; and we lobby big business and government for fundamental changes to the way trade works so that it benefits the poor. We believe this is the ‘best of fair trade.’
But we urgently need help to keep doing it because despite the growth of total Fairtrade sales, we've seen Traidcraft sales significantly decline. Why? People are buying Fairtrade products from the supermarket and not from Traidcraft or its supporters. This means our original pioneering mission is now under serious threat.
Our plea is simple: We need to improve our sales to be able to keep doing this vital work so please buy Traidcraft products through your church stall, to allow us to support the producers all over the world who depend on us.