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Bring Back Our Fairtrade Favourites!

bob1With all the campaigner noise during Fairtrade Fortnight, it’s easy to think all our work is done…….far from it. Today we welcome Prof Bob Doherty (Professor of Marketing at The York Management School) to the guest blog with some considerable food for thought and a rallying call for more action!


“The fair trade movement has achieved an enormous amount against all the odds. Global sales of over £8b, working with 1,230 producer organisations consisting of 1.6m farmers and over 1,800 Fair Trade towns. The movement has influenced trade policy and its impact on producers is significant. A study by the Center for Evaluation at Saarland University in Germany found that smallholder farmers who benefited from Fairtrade enjoyed higher and more stable incomes than producers in the respective comparison groups. A further study involving coffee farmers in Uganda showed that participation in Fairtrade increased household living standards by 30% and significantly reduced the prevalence and depth of poverty.


Julio (right) with Patrick Kaberia at Fairtrade APPG launch. Credit: Fairtrade Foundation

Julio (right) with Patrick Kaberia at Fairtrade APPG launch. Credit: Fairtrade Foundation

Banana farmer Julio Mercado Cantillo, 57, lives on his farm in Macondo, Colombia, with his wife Alicia, children and grandchildren. For Cantillo, one of the benefits of Fairtrade has been better and more stable prices for his bananas, which has improved his income and the food security of his family.


Moreover, impacts in empowering women and building organizational capacity for producers has been inspirational. Fair Trade has continued to innovate with the emergence of Fairtrade markets in producer countries such has Kenya, South Africa, India, Brazil etc. This has shattered the previous notion of fair trade as a North-South relationship.


However, frustratingly we have lost ground in the UK market. Its becoming more difficult to find your favourite Fair Trade brands in UK supermarkets as they have been delisted and the recent announcement by Cadbury’s to drop the Fairtrade MARK is also of concern. Therefore I feel we need to redouble the amazing campaigning efforts of all the fair trade activist groups and not to let the market off the hook. There is still much work to be done to continue the positive impact of Fairtrade – the movement needs to keep the pressure on both policy makers particularly in the face of Brexit and business leaders to ensure consumers can choose Fairtrade at the point of purchase. I would like to call for a return to more pro-active campaigning to show supermarkets etc that we want them to restock fair trade goods.


Can we call on the Fairtrade Foundation and Fair Trade Towns to come together for a campaign on one of the supermarket leaders e.g. Tesco but to be honest it could be Asda etc and everyone to email, write in letters , telephone on the first day of Fair Trade Fortnight to ask them to return our favourites Divine, Cafedirect etc to the shelves!! We want our Fairtrade Favourites back!”

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