Last Saturday, 10th of May, was World Fair Trade Day, an initiative of the World Fair Trade Organization, that is planned every year as a global celebration of Fair Trade’s contribution to the fight against poverty, exploitation and climate change.
Fair Trade has become the leading social movement that promotes social justice today and all across the world, Fair Trade’s People celebrated this weekend.
The notion of Fair Trade has exploded over the past few years, and result of its own success, the movement has become somewhat fragmented, with many different labels and certification systems in existence, but I believe that in its very core, the notion still stands for the thousands of people that work, promote or purchase products from fairer supply chains and who, by doing do, vote for a trading system that is designed FOR the economically marginalized people and not against them.
I am one of Fair Trade’s People. But, I often think that it’s not easy being part of this movement. As a consumer, in most cases, it’s just expensive, and one is constantly fighting the temptation of going for the cheaper options from the questionable supply chains. As a stay at home mum, with only occasional freelance work, every penny counts, and of course this makes these choices even harder.
You also have to fight the doubt in your mind, and in the mind of those around you, of whether or not, these choices actually matter and make a difference; or whether it’s just pointless and you should just consider your own circumstances and sink into the easy apathy of all those who simply don’t care.
I know the system is not perfect, and there are many critics of it, but I have been lucky enough to witness close up it’s impact and the difference it’s making to millions of lives out there. Bottom line, it is not solving all of the world’s problems but it does help – it is helping families, like yours or mine, to make a better living, to feed and educate their children and to dream and achieve about a better future for themselves and their communities. This knowledge is what gives me the energy to write this blog and to make the right choices every time I can.
So, I celebrated too, I went along to Berwick Street in Soho and joined in the London celebrations, and was very happy to find delicious chocolates from Divine Chocolates and nuts from Liberation Nuts, and even some very amusing Fair Trade knickers from Kerala crafts.
There is also a great Fair Trade shop, called Fair Share, which has a great selection of Fair Trade products from all the world and from where I bought some fantastic Fair Trade finger puppets for the kids.
I’m proud to be part of this movement. Dedicating my energy and passion to advocating it, makes me very happy. I am definitely one of Fair Trade’s People.