Fair Trade Fortnight, which began early May, is an annual, nationwide celebration of all things Fair Trade and the difference that choosing Fair Trade makes for millions in developing countries.
During the second and third weeks of May, both the Sustainability Office and Engineers Without Borders (EWB) ran stalls in the Undercroft to raise awareness for Fair Trade products available on campus and in local grocery stores. EWB held Morning Tea for Oxfam every day for a week, handing out hot Fair Trade beverages and treats for donations as well as hosting activities. UC Sustainability offered a variety of Fair Trade sweets for donation and sold reusable coffee cups. Both events were very successful, raising close to $700 for Oxfam and bringing awareness to Fair Trade and what it stands for.
With 2 billion people living on less than $2 a day buying Fairtrade helps create a better life for coffee and cocoa growers, tea pluckers, cotton pickers and banana growers and their families. As well as a guaranteed minimum price, the extra Fairtrade Premium empowers growers to invest in the future for their communities and help themselves out of poverty. Fairtrade is about providing long term job stability, fair working conditions and focuses funds on healthcare, education and other aspects of social development for their communities.
In New Zealand numerous Fair Trade goods are available, such as cotton T-shirts and bags (see for instance Christchurch-based Liminal Apparel), ice cream (see for instance Nice Blocks, YUM!) soft drinks, bananas (see All Good Organics for both soft drinks and bananas), coffee, tea and chocolate.
So to show your support, buy Fair Trade products whenever possible. Fair Trade products are available in cafes on campus as well. Look for the Fair Trade logo!