Monday, February 22, 2010

The Big Swap

Yes, Fairtrade Fortnight begins today.
And this year’s theme is The Big Swap.

Fairtrade Fortnight 2010
22 February - 7 March

Fairtrade is a movement for change, aiming to tackle poverty and injustice through trade. For two weeks this year, they want to encourage people to swap their normal stuff for Fairtrade stuff. Swap your usual bananas for Fairtrade bananas, your usual cotton socks for Fairtrade cotton socks and most of all your usual cuppa for a Fairtrade cuppa.

They have a theme of tea, but any kind of swap will do...

To promote the Tea thing there will be a promo event this Thursday, 9:45-11am 25th February, when 100s of Tea Ladies [oh dear, should that not be Tea Persons?] suitably dressed as Tea Persons are [costumes supplied by Fairtrade and made of Fairtrade cotton] and dancing as Tea Persons do outside the Houses of Parliament for a photoshoot. Expect to see a few MPs who want to get a bit of exposure in shot.

Says Nicola, “Each and every swap proves that the people of the UK want producers in the developing world to get a better deal. So whether it's swapping your sugar or organising a community event, each and every action helps raise the issues that affect farmers, workers and their communities all over the developing world. Every swap counts!”

But B21 wants you to go a little bit further. These islands have been a trading Nation for many years and our prosperity is built upon it. We cannot produce bananas, tea, sugar, cotton or tobacco here. And we are not good at growing grapes. But the problem is we are running out of things to trade. At one time we imported cotton and exported clothes, but now our clothes are made abroad. Same with our cutlery, scissors and tools which were once all made in Sheffield but are now imported. So while you are looking at the labels I am asking you to have a look at where the things you buy are made and at the same time note how much packaging they are contained in and whether it is all necessary. I am not asking you not to buy those things, just be aware of where they come from and how much waste you are required to dispose of.

Here's a round up of what's happening locally:

- Fairtrade in Schools event- for KS4 & 5 students. Takes place on March 1st and involves groups such as Oxfam, People & Planet and We Are What We Do running interactive workshops. Also there'll be a live weblink to young people in Ghana who have benefited from Fairtrade. For more information email or call Nicola on 0208 708 2272.

- Wanstead Library, Hainault Library and Fullwell Cross Library will all be having displays

- Aldersbrook Library will be having a display throughout the Fortnight and organising a Tea Time event on Thursday March 11th, 3.00pm - 4.30 pm. Pop along for a cup of Fairtrade Tea and cake! Fair Trade products also on sale.

- St Johns Church, Seven Kings will be selling Fairtrade produce on Sunday 28 and Sunday 7 March (after Sunday service)- you can find them at St. John's Road, Seven Kings, Ilford, Essex, IG2 7BB

See also TraidCraft and Shared Interest

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