It’s been another busy Fairtrade Fortnight in Macclesfield! More photos will be added soon, but here’s a snapshot of the events we held this year (23rd Feb – 8th March).
Click here for a short video showing the beautiful poster display put on during the fortnight. Every year, around a dozen or more primary schools in Macclesfield create artwork on a Fairtrade theme for display in the library. Great work!
We held two events to raise awareness of how important it is to eat and drink Fairtrade: a breakfast and a coffee morning.
Fairtrade matters: tea workers in Malawi
Following a viewing of a new documentary depicting the lives of Tea Workers in Malawi, Iain Gatward from the ‘Oban Office of Imani Development’ spoke about his personal experience working in Malawi. He led a very interesting discussion about the problems faced by rural communities in the country and the difference that access to the Fairtrade market can make. Iain was also able to give an insight into the rigorous independent auditing system of Fairtrade certified producers, conducted by FLO-CERT.
Farmers accessing the Fairtrade market benefit from:
- Guaranteed minimum prices which are above the cost of sustainable production
- Long term relationships with buyers, including advance payments
- The “Fairtrade premium”
In 2013 the UK Fairtrade market generated £26 million in additional Fairtrade premiums that local communities used to invest in improvements to their business and their community. However, many Fairtrade certified farms only sell a small proportion of their crop on Fairtrade terms, with around 8% of tea sold in the UK being Fairtrade. To sell more produce on Fairtrade terms depends on greater demand for Fairtrade from consumers.
Tragically, the area of Malawi depicted in the film suffered unprecedented flooding in January 2015; a fund to help farmers recover and prepare for future shocks has been set up by the Fairtrade Foundation. Contributions can be made through the Fairtrade website by clicking here.