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On Saturday May 13th we will be joining in with World Fair Trade Day celebrating the fact that all of us can help bring about big changes just by buying fair trade.
The World Fair Trade Organisation are helping to coordinate events across the world celebrating consumers as agents of change.
None of us seeing the Rana Plaza building collapse would ever knowingly buy clothes which were made by a company who flouted safety regulations. As the death toll went past 1100 there was definitely a feeling that more needed to be done to ensure a disaster this size never happened again.
However as a consumer its easy to feel overwhelmed by choice. How do you know if the company who makes your clothes is treating its workers right? Its complicated by the fact that some of the cheaper companies seem to make more of an effort to ensure their supply chain is regulated than people selling shoes for £00s.
One thing you can do is buy more fair trade products. Unfortunately people have become more cynical about whether fair trade actually benefits workers, but please, please know that every time you buy a fair trade product you are directly helping bring about change.
If you think Bananas you can see how effective consumer spending can be. Today over 30% of bananas sold in this country are fair trade pioneered by shops such as Sainsbury's, the Co Op and Waitrose all of whom only sell fair trade. Chocolate and coffee are also success stories with major producers such as Cadbury's now pioneering the move towards only using chocolate which is from fair trade producers.
So consumers can bring about major changes in behaviour simply by choosing to buy fair trade. This is not the time to tell people that they need to buy only fair trade, but if everybody bought just one thing which was fair trade every month then we could bring about the most immense change in supply chain regulation we have ever seen. And if you already buy one thing which is fair trade could you stretch to two? Every little helps as they say.
Our Pebble and our Under the Nile toys and blankets are fair trade and we can absolutely guarantee you that by choosing to buy either of these brands you will make a huge difference to a very poor family. You will put food on their table and hope in their hearts. You will help educate their children. I promise you, fair trade definitely works.
Happy World Fair Trade Day to all of our customers and to our producers.