Peterborough became a Fairtrade city in 2019 - and by embracing the movement residents can help support workers in poorer nations and protect the environment.
Fairtrade guarantees a set of standards are met in the production and supply of a product or ingredient.
This includes workers’ rights, environmental protection, safer working conditions and a minimum price for producers.
In addition, producers earn a Fairtrade Premium (money on top of the sale price) that they choose to use to fund maternity hospitals, schools, improvements to infrastructure and reforestation projects.
And as Beki Sellick, co-ordinator for the Fairtrade Peterborough steering group, explained:
“We combine climate change and international justice by buying less - and buying Fairtrade - for three reasons:
- Fairtrade is fair. People who did least to cause global warming are suffering most. Fairtrade guarantees farmers a minimum income, so they can afford to adapt to extreme climate – like droughts impacting coffee and coconuts in Kenya, flooding affecting dried fruit and lentils in Pakistan and hurricanes destroying bananas in Honduras.
- Fairtrade protects the future. To get Fairtrade certification, producers have to reduce greenhouse gases by halting deforestation, tackling soil erosion or cutting water wastage. Fairtrade communities use the Fairtrade premium to invest in sustainability.
- Fairtrade is simple. All we need to do is check for the little person waving symbol that means independently assessed and audited by the Fairtrade Foundation. And eat chocolate!
Of course, it is not just chocolate which can be bought – there are literally thousands of products ranging from fruit and clothes to beauty products. You can find out for yourself at: https://www.fairtrade.org.uk/buying-fairtrade/.
And if you want to find Fairtrade products in Peterborough, a list of retailers can be found at: https://fairtradepeterborough.wordpress.com/.
Beki was speaking as part of a week-long series to encourage Peterborough residents to make changes to their lifestyles which will benefit the environment, but can also bring other benefits such as healthier living and financial savings.
The series is tying in with the upcoming launch of the Peterborough Climate Change Debate – a major campaign to help the city reach net zero and which all residents can take part in.