Seeing how Fairtrade works for the producers
In 2009 the Leeds Met Fairtrade Steering group held a competition for a student to visit to see Fair trade producers in action. Antonia Wolf was one of 23 entrants who made it thorough the interviews to win the competition and took on the challenge of visiting two cooperatives located in South Africa. These videos record Antonia's journey and were premiered at Freshers Festival in September 2009 and then shown at Fairtrade Fortnight.
Click here to view Antonia's thoughts on her preparations for the journey.
Whilst in South Africa Antonia started her investigations with a visit to the Fairtrade Label South Africa offices in Cape Town to find out how Fairtrade standards were organised in South Africa. Click here to view her interview with the Director - Boudewijn Goossens.
Then she journeyed on north into the Western Cape area to visit a Tea plantation - Heiveld Co-operative where she stayed in on the plantation and met the women who farmed the tea. To view this encounter click here.
Whilst there, she met with Mandy Moussourous, from the Environmental Monitoring Group who talks about the challenges the fairtrade workers face and the changes that Fairtrade made to the workers lives. Click here to view.
Finally she spent a couple of days visiting the Stellar Winery - firstly working in the vineyards with some of the farm team and then in the bottling plant. She was able to spend time visiting the facilities that had been created with the fairtrade premium - which included a crèche area for the worker's children and an educational facility for the workers themselves. Click here to view here interview with Stellar Winery.
For more information on the host organisations please seeEnvironmental Monitoring Group's:
What is Fairtrade?
"Fairtrade is a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency, and respect, that seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalised producers and workers- especially in the South. Fair Trade organisations (backed by consumers) are actively engaged in supporting producers, in awareness raising and in campaigning for changes in the rules and practices of conventional international trade".
When you see the FAIRTRADE mark on any product, you can be sure that the farmers who produced it are guaranteed a fair price for their crop which covers production costs. They also receive a premium that they can invest in projects to benefit their communities, such as education and health case. The farmers earn enough to look after their families properly and plan for the future. The Fairtrade mark can now be found on over 3,000 products from more than 200 companies.
In the UK the Fairtrade Foundation is the main organising and licensing body. They are an independent non-profit organisation.
How can I help?
If you're wondering what you can do, the answer is simple: buy Fairtrade products- create demand for it. If you go into a shop, cafe or restaurant, and you don't see Fairtrade products- ask for them. They respond to the demand of the consumers.
To get involved
The Steering Group meets monthly - it consists of people drawn across the university who are interested in supporting Fairtrade and encouraging the university to promote Fairtrade choices for students and staff. We run events and would like to invite more people to the group to run more activities. Previously we have run sports events eg. the Fairtrade Football match with the "Fairtraders" battling the "Fat Cats" to demonstrate the injustices of regular trade with some unusual rules. To join and or find out more please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are going to set up a stall at Freshers festival - if you have an hour to spare to help us run it please email email@example.com.
Hot drinks vending machines on campus are Fairtrade, and we monitor the sales of Fairtrade goods in the catering and retail outlets. The conferencing team offer fairtrade options for meetings and events - please encourage the staff who order the supplies for your meetings to choose the Fairtrade options.
Locally - the Leeds City Fairtrade group has a directory of retailers and eating places who use Fairtrade goods and also gives more information about Fairtrade events in the city.
Where to find out more
See the Fair Trade Foundation website
Locally - the Leeds City Fairtrade group has a directory of retailers and eating places who use Fairtrade goods and also gives more information about Fairtrade events in the city