Copper’s Rosie Iron takes a look at upcoming ‘Fairtrade Fortnight’ and what it means for all involved.

23 February to 8 March 2015 is ‘Fairtrade Fortnight’. The term ‘Fairtrade’ initially seems self-explanatory, and we are used to seeing the label on various items in shops. But why support Fairtrade? What does it actually mean for trade to be “fair”?

The issue
Often farm workers are not being paid enough for their work and producers are not being paid enough for their produce. The retail price of an item may not reflect the human and environmental resources that went into making it, with only a fraction of the money making it to those at the beginning of the production chain.

What is Fairtrade and who benefits?
Fairtrade is about paying a price that covers the social, economic and environmental costs of making a product. It is about sustainable development through trade not aid. It also hopes to tackle the power and income inequality often seen within the supply chain.

From the price of a Fairtrade product, farmers will receive a fair and stable wage, and costs involved in keeping environmental standards will be taken into consideration. Its focus is not only on farmers’ income, but also on community development and the environment. A Fairtrade ‘premium’ price allows farmers to make investments into improving their business, housing, and access to health care and education.

Aims of Fairtrade Fortnight
When seeing an item on a shop shelf, very few of us think about the people and resources that made it. Fairtrade Fortnight is about connecting the choices that we make as consumers with those who really put the food on our plates and clothes on our backs. Using the tagline “You see…I see…”, the campaign will highlight how buying Fairtrade will benefit farmers, their communities  and the environment.  Farmers’ stories will be told whilst the consumers sip their Fairtrade coffee or tuck into their Fairtrade banana.

The power is in a choice
One person might not make a difference. But one cup of coffee, one bottle of wine or one pack of bananas will. It is not about buying everything under the Fairtrade label. It’s about making a conscious choice where and when you can.

You won’t just be buying bananas: you will be pledging to improve economic, social and environmental conditions at farms and plantations across the globe.

You can find more information about Fairtrade Fortnight here

Who to follow on Twitter: @FairtradeUKNews , @FairFood , @traidcraft