How to make Fairtrade a way of life, by Trio Watson
As someone is by nature quite lazy, I have certainly found that the ‘change one thing’ approach worked best for me
My regular shop is for fresh decaf coffee – which we sell at Fairtrade at St Michael’s – so it was a matter of deciding whether the Traidcraft one or the Café Direct one tasted better. I can tell you that there is no loss in terms of quality, and they are both great!
Developing a bit of brand loyalty helps me because I don’t want to have to think too much each time I shop
Once I’ve decided that I’m happy with Traidcraft and with Cafe Direct then that’s a decision less to make. They can also be nice presents once you’ve decided that you like the brand per se.
And this is where the story grows
People begin to remember that you talked enthusiastically about the coffee you had, and associate the Fairtrade vision with you more and more. And being someone who regularly buys Fairtrade will increasingly introduce you to the Fairtrade ‘family’ of traders in the UK. We’re a nice bunch, what’s not to love?
Fairtrade becomes part of your social life
Keeping the Fairtrade buying simple
Just sticking to my decaf – also helps me get into the producer relationship and a greater awareness of where our food comes from. Britain is a post-colonial nation with colonial tastes. We expect to have tea, coffee, chocolate etc available to us whenever we want them, and consequently trading relationships for these commodities carry significant injustice along the trail. Fairtrade is a way of regulating how some of these trading environments work, to the advantage of the producer. We also need to see our Fairtrade buying as part of how our whole world generates food for everyone, how we work to prevent food scarcity, and respond the challenges like climate change or Covid-19. Suddenly, buying Fairtrade seems to be very wide reaching!
It could be overwhelming. So, I’d say, keep it simple, stick with the one thing you changed
But don’t tie your hands. If you happen to see fair trade jewellery, if you were to buy it, it would seem fair enough that the story of justice in beauty feels very different to just beauty, when you are wearing it. However, no-one has perfect ethics – it’s good to be imperfect, otherwise we might feel we couldn’t make any changes at all. Realistically, there will be some incongruous moments in your kitchen cupboards and your wardrobe. That’s Life.
You will find that with every mouthful of your decaf during the day, something does shift
Many droplets make up the sea. The feeling that how our food reaches us is an important consideration, does spread throughout our entire kitchen. We experiment a little more. We discover Fairtrade gold, Fairtrade cotton, recycled goods made in a fairly traded way, and all of this could be interesting. But it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Hang on to your decaf coffee if it all feels too much.
Small, regular actions are very powerful. Just stay open to the possibilities, and don’t alarm yourself with an impossible commitment