The South West Fairtrade Day – The Fair Trade Journey

Today we headed to Truro, for the South West Fair Trade Day.

When we arrived to the conference at the town hall, the mayor of Truro was proud to open the South West regional conference of Fairtrade – celebrating 20 years of the Fairtrade Mark.

We were joined by a Cotton producer called Dharwal Mane on Skype.  He was 1 of 1500 farmers from Vasudlha, a area near the center of India., producing 22,000 metric tons He stated because of the farmers getting a fair trade price they have so far earned an extra £350,000!  Because of these social premiums they have been able to get new land to build on, medical facilities, books for students and a school!  They are able to, not only provide education to children, but training to farmers helping them to become more efficient and competitive on the global stage.

Also because they are connected with Fairtrade they are able have proper work standards and to have a say and each village has a representative to voice people’s concerns!  More recently they have been able to start organic farming!  Which has a number of benefits one of which is having a minimum effect on climate change!

Cotton sales in India now fund schools and further education.  But it also funds toilets India, why? Because only half of the Indian population has access to a toilet! That is over 600,000 people that is also 10 times of the UK population!

After the impressive presentation! We went off to several workshops. One thing that was great to see was, the children from the local school gave there own presentation and they looked so excited when they told us about their Fairtrade Club!

Even though it was a great day, there are still a long way to go, less than 1% of trade is fair trade!

Fairtrade isn’t just about food and other raw materials, click here to see some of the amazing crafts.
Sam Birtwistle