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Tweeting Can, And Does, Change The World! Fairtrade Fortnight Blog

We asked “How do you Go Further for Fairtrade and Change The World?” This is Fairtrade Sleuth‘s answer:

 

I’m not a campaigner in the traditional sense.  I’m not comfortable lobbying my MP or supermarket – it’s just not my thing.  But, for three and a half years, I have been using Twitter to let people know about the Fairtrade products I have found, with the hope that it will encourage others to seek them out and buy them when they can.  In that time I have gained over 2000 followers, made some special friends and posted nearly 15,000 tweets (most, if not all, about #Fairtrade!).

 

"go further"

Over the years, I have persuaded my husband that if a Fairtrade option is available, then that is what we will choose.  We are fortunate to be able to do that and lucky that we live in London with a wide range of shops conveniently available.  It is not unheard of for me to go to Co-op, Sainsbury’s and M&S on my way home from work and I enjoy researching and looking for Fairtrade goodies online that are not available on the high street.

 

This means I am exposed to a wide range of Fairtrade products.  I realise not everyone can or wants to do that, so it seems sensible to share what I find so that others know what to look out for wherever they may be shopping.  For me, there is no question that the smallholder farmers and workers in developing countries who produce food and goods for us to enjoy, should be paid a fair price for their work.

 

Over the last few years, I have seen Fairtrade products disappear from the high street (most Fairtrade cotton clothing and bed linen, for example) or be replaced with ‘own-label’ certifications.  This is thoroughly disheartening.  But I have also seen some very exciting products launch too.

 

"Fairtrade wine"

Being able to buy Fairtrade wine at the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics made me doubly determined to try for some last minute tickets!  However, the launch of Fairtrade and Fairmined gold and silver has been the most exciting thing for me.  The thought that it’s possible to wear something all the time with the Fairtrade Mark stamped on it is very special (hopefully my husband is reading this…!).  I was very excited to be invited to see @JonDibben’s beautiful Fairtrade gold jewellery at London Jewellery Week last year and I felt very privileged to be able to try on one of his precious Fairtrade gold rings.

 

In addition, @CREDJewellery kindly showed me the Fairtrade and Fairmined gold hallmark on one of their wedding rings.  I am adept at spotting the Fairtrade Mark in the most unlikely of places, but to see it actually stamped into a gold ring was an extremely special moment.

 

Many years of looking for the Fairtrade Mark have given me a wealth of knowledge as to what products are available and where to find them, and it is always immensely satisfying to be able to pass it on to others.  In the last couple of weeks I was able to do just that for ‘Pancake Day’, which was great fun, and I was surprised to fill five tweets with ideas for Fairtrade toppings.  It just goes to show how far we have come.

 

There is still a long way to go however.  There are lots of products that could be Fairtrade but are not, or they are not available on the high street.  So, there is plenty of scope for retailers to #GoFurther for Fairtrade.

 

But equally, there are still plenty of Fairtrade products from which to choose.  Whether you are an active campaigner or prefer a quieter approach, I would encourage you to add an extra Fairtrade product to your shopping basket wherever you possibly can.  Together we can #GoFurther for Fairtrade and help #ChangeTheWorld.

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