When you think of Fairtrade, what springs to mind? Bananas and chocolate for most of us. But Fairtrade is a huge movement that has spread to almost every aspect of daily life. And now in its 20th year, Fairtrade Fortnight, which runs from February 27th to March 12th, celebrates all ethically sourced products on our shop shelves.
When a product is labelled Fairtrade you can rest assured that a fair cut of sales will go directly back to the farmer, producer or village, giving them a better deal than if there was a greedy middle man taking a cut. You’ll often pay no more for the ethical version, as the money is simply distributed in a kinder, fairer way – just as it should be!
Here are Belle About Town‘s pick of the best Fairtrade products on the High Street this Fairtrade Fortnight:
Wine: Fairtrade wines have become a staple of many a social occasion in the UK. To serve not just excellent, but ethical, wine at a dinner party is to earn extra brownie points. Sainsbury’s stocks a wide range of Taste the Difference South African wines, all of which are 100% Fairtrade. Our favourite is the Chenin Blanc which is currently £6 (down from £7) until 14thMarch. If a red is more your style, try Waitrose’s Fairtrade Merlot, a soft and juicy wine, and only £5.99, or Co-Op’s full-bodied Argentinian Irresistible Fairtrade Malbec at £6.99. Proceeds from this smooth and fruity red have helped to improve the lives of people in Argentina by providing safe drinking water and education. For rosé lovers it’s back to Sainsbury’s for their Vine Garden Rosé, also on offer until March 14th at £6.
Chocolate: It’s true – chocolate really can be guilt-free! Buy a Fairtrade bar and sit safe in the knowledge that with each bite you are helping cocoa farmers live better lives. To celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8th, Divine Chocolate – the Fairtrade and farmer owned chocolate company – has launched a delicious bar of dark chocolate featuring an illustration of a female cocoa farmer – the 70% Dark Chocolate Women’s Sharing Bar. Together, Divine and Kuapa (a cocoa farmers’ cooperative in Ghana), empowers women with access to adult literacy classes and model farming schemes. Chocolate and Love was set up by husband and wife team, Richard and Brigitte O’Conner in 2010. Chocolate and Love source their cacao from Fairtrade certified cooperatives in Peru, The Dominican Republic and Panama. And finally, the Co-Op has become the first UK supermarket to to source 100% Fairtrade cocoa across all its own brand products. That’s everything from the chocolate sprinkles on doughnuts to the chocolate chips in cookies! That certainly deserves a pat on the back, let’s hope other stores soon follow suit.
Coffee: Treat yourself to a Fairtrade Coffee Selection Pack from York Coffee Emporium, which features five Fairtrade certified coffees to ensure you do your bit to help farmers in developing countries achieve better working conditions, and promote sustainability. If you’re just looking for a quick caffeine fix, most major supermarkets offer their own brand in Fairtrade coffee. Co-op and Sainsbury’s come out on top for us.
Tea: Pukka Teas are renowned for their quality and taste, and the good news is that they have a range of Fairtrade teas too, 10 of their 37 varieties are certified Fairtrade, with all the rest classified as Fair for Life – a label for fair and equitable trade systems. Try their Supreme Matcha Green Tea for a real kickstart in the morning, or the spicy Vanilla Chai as an afternoon pick-me-up. They also do great Earl Grey and Breakfast varieties. But while it must be acknowledged that us Brits are getting more adventurous in our tea tastes, you still can’t beat a good cup of English breakfast! If traditional tickles your tastebuds, take a look at Australian tea specialists T2, who supply a traditional blend of organic black tea from India. You’ll enjoy each fragrant sip that little bit more knowing it’s been certified Fairtrade too.
- For more information on Fairtrade Fortnight see www.fairtrade.org.uk/fortnight