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Baking Can Change The World! Fairtrade Fortnight Blog

We asked “How do you Go Further and Change the World?” This is Linda Anderson‘s (from Filled With Love) answer:


Baking can change the world – right?


I like to think so, but totally understand I may be in a minority here, so perhaps some explanation of that bold statement is called for! And Fairtrade Fortnight gives me a great opportunity to do so.


Let’s take a step back for a moment. Twenty years ago, when Mr Kipling ruled the tea table, baking was something your granny used to do – and your contribution was likely to have been licking the spoon.


That all changed with the advent of the Great British Bake Off, and thanks to “Bezza” and the “Silver Fox” baking has recently undergone something of a resurgence.


I’ve baked all my life but more recently it has become my full time occupation. Prior to this I worked for an international development agency where my lifelong interest in issues of justice and equality was sharpened; building a baking business might not seem to be a natural progression but it absolutely is – because baking can change the world!


I’ve used Fairtrade coffee and chocolate for a while now. Probably from back in the day when you could only get it from dusty shelves in the Oxfam shop!  When Filled With Love Cupcakes was born I instinctively knew that along with free range eggs and top quality unsalted butter it would be fairtrade coffee, chocolate and sugar making my cakes taste as good as they look.


As I baked I blogged, and in doing so I began to share some of the stories behind the baking.  Beginning with why I choose to buy Fairtrade ingredients…


They are more expensive, and people ask why I choose to pay more. My answer is simple – if something is cheap then somewhere down the line someone else has had to pay.


I began to find out more about the people behind the products and in doing so felt a real connection with them, their communities, and the work that they do. The cocoa farmers who have never tasted chocolate for example. The producers of Ndali Vanilla whose lives have been transformed through being paid a fair price for this precious crop.


The list goes on; fairtrade almonds from Palestine, walnuts from Pakistan, sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, bananas, lemons, limes, oranges. Every time we choose to purchase these we change the world. Not the whole world maybe, but perhaps one community’s world, one person’s world.


I’ve used the words choose and choice deliberately throughout this blog, I believe that they are vital if we are to change the world. Choice is a luxury that we take for granted and which is denied to many. We can make our choices count, and choosing to buy fairtrade products helps to ensure that the people who produce the things we consume can take a step on the road to the same choices that we enjoy.


It’s not all good news. I recently ordered some delicious looking walnuts from Chile, having read the story of how the lives of the farmers and their families were changing through their first international exports, which were enabling them to move towards a more sustainable way of life.


Sadly I was told that the walnuts were out of stock due to lack of demand. I am sure that the demand would be there if only more people knew that these products were available. I now see it as part of my job to not only bake using fairtrade products but also to tell the stories and spread the word so that more and more of us choose to buy these high quality, delicious goods.


Which is why Fairtrade Fortnight is so important. It provides a window, an opportunity, a time to tell the stories, raise the profile and generally shout it from the rooftops that buying fairtrade products can change the world.


As can baking of course…

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