Fair Trade


Fairtrade Mark - no link

Page Links:

www.maketradefair.com

Fairtrade Foundation

Garstang Oxfam Group

Making Garstang a Fairtrade Town

Mustard Seed

Fairtrade Directory

Latest News

Go Global Fair Trade / Slave Trade project

Farmers Link

 


A small child dies from poverty every 2.4 seconds. This is preventable and therefore totally unacceptable. But what has this to do with Trade? It is another startling fact that Developing Countries in the South lose $100 billion per year due to an unfair trading system. That means for every $1 donated in aid, $2 is being stolen from poor countries through unfair trade rules set up by the rich countries to protect their own markets. The reality is that, in many ways, the rich North takes from the poor South, rather than gives to it.

In an Oxfam report "Rigged Rules and Double Standards" the European Union wins Oxfam's Double Standards Award for the greatest hypocrisy in trade rules. The report shows that 128 million people could be lifted out of poverty if Africa, Latin America, East Asia and South Asia each increased their share of world exports by just one percent. In April 2002 Oxfam launched a global campaign to 'Make Trade Fair'. Oxfam is calling for a radical shake up of global trade rules and an end to rich world double standards. People can join the campaign at a dedicated website: www.maketradefair.com.

Fair Trade is one alternative to this global injustice. Fair Trade means a better deal for farmers, growers and small-scale producers. By working in partnership with them, and reducing the number of middlemen, it ensures they receive a fair price, thereby enabling them to improve their business, or invest in health and education projects in their communities.

The average UK citizen will spend a massive £90,000 in supermarkets during their lifetime. As a consumer buying Fair Trade goods one can help reduce world poverty. In 1994 the Fairtrade Foundation launched the Fairtrade Mark, shown upper left. The Fairtrade Mark, appearing on products like tea, coffee, chocolate, bananas, fruit juice, honey and cocoa is a guarantee that the product has been fairly traded. In September 2002 the new Fairtrade Mark, shown upper right, was launched so that the UK Mark could join with the International Fairtrade Labelling movement in the formation of a single certification Mark used across the globe.

The Garstang Oxfam Group (GOG) have campaigned on fair trade since its formation in 1992. The campaign to make Garstang a Fairtrade Town developed during Fairtrade Fortnight in the year 2000. At that time there were five traders in Garstang selling Fairtrade goods including the Mustard Seed, the first Fair Trade shop and coffee bar in Garstang. There are now sixteen Garstang Traders selling Fairtrade products and many more using Fairtrade goods on their premises.

Making Garstang a Fairtrade Town not only increased awareness of the Fairtrade Mark to over 70% (the national average being just 20%) but also led to the formation of many links between Garstang and Ghana. These links culminated in a twin town relationship between Garstang and the cocoa farming community of New Koforidua in Ghana. The Garstang Oxfam Group also worked with the local Youth Club and Garstang High School on the Go Global Fair Trade / Slave Trade project. Central to the project was a visit to Ghana by a group of young people in the Summer of 2001. The fair trade campaign has also brought together the problems faced by farmers in Ghana with those faced by local farmers also struggling to get a fair price for their produce.
The Oxfam Group believe that bringing people together in this way can help us to understand and share in each others problems. As the coffee producer Guillermo said, while visiting the UK during Fairtrade Fortnight 2002 'if we can look one another in the eyes we can understand each others' needs'.