MIKE GIDNEY RECENTLY TOOK UP THE CEO'S ROLE OF THE FAIRTRADE FOUNDATION — THE CERTIFICATION BODY THAT HAS LICENSED OVER 4,500 FAIRTRADE PRODUCTS — AND ONE OF HIS FIRST TASKS IS TO LAUNCH THEIR THREE-YEAR STRATEGY 'UNLOCKING THE POWER OF THE MANY'.
Fairtrade already helps 1.5 million farmers and workers in 60 countries but Mike feels there is still much to do, saying that producers are still too vulnerable to global trade volatility. He wants to provide even more farmers and workers with the tools they need to bring about lasting change.
Change on the supply side is one thing, but there needs to be a demand to match it, and in 2011 people spent £1.32 billion on Fairtrade products. Now whilst that’s only about £22 per person it marks a 12 per cent increase on the previous year, showing an increasing desire among consumers for producers to get a better deal from trade.
So the supply side is increasing, with a new strategy, and the demand side is growing too, which is good news all round. And then there are organisations in the middle which do their bit, sourcing Fairtrade products and supplying them to their people. For example, Fairtrade is our first choice for all the bananas and sugar we use, and for the past six years we’ve seen double-digit growth in Fairtrade products.
Getting better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world has to be a long-term commitment, so we appointed Fairtrade Ambassadors whose role is to inspire and help all our employees to take their own steps to help.
It’s Fairtrade Fortnight right now, bringing even more opportunities for everyone to do their bit to help. Look out for our EATFAIR range in your nearest Eurest restaurant and make the right choice.
After all, it seems only fair.
Fairtrade (2012) New CEO for the Fairtrade Foundation [online]. (Accessed 17 December 2012).