25 Feb Empowering women through Fair Trade – Fairtrade Fortnight 2019
Every year individuals, campaigners, companies and communities across the world come together for Fairtrade Fortnight – an opportunity to celebrate the people who grow our food and make our products.
Fairtrade is a powerful vehicle for change, preventing exploitation and empowering people and communities in some of the poorest countries in the world.
This year the campaign focuses on the women who grow cocoa and showcases the importance of paying a living wage.
£1.86* is the amount a cocoa farmer in West Africa needs to earn each day in order to achieve a living income. Currently, a typical cocoa farmer in Cote d’Ivoire lives on around 74p** a day.
Many women undertake work in the cocoa industry, such as transporting cocoa beans to market, as well as caring for their family, but with fewer rights than men.
A living income means that the people in the supply chain can afford essentials such as clothing, medicine and school for their children. Around the world, the living wage is essential to empowering workers, but it is not always a legal requirement – which is why we need to campaign for change and encourage employers to recognise its importance.
In the UK, the national minimum wage in 2018 is set to £7.83 per hour. Daily life, however, is much more expensive than a minimum wage can realistically cover.
Many employers have committed to paying the ‘Real Living Wage’ of £9 per hour, as defined by the Living Wage Foundation.
(Ethical Hour Ltd currently doesn’t have any employees but has committed to paying all the freelancers and contractors who make up our team at least the Real Living Wage).
The gender pay gap still exists in many countries around the world and campaigns for equality continue. Just a few weeks ago a new report revealed that for every £1 of venture capital investment in the UK, only 1p goes to female entrepreneurs.
This year’s Fairtrade Fortnight campaign covers three essential, important themes:
- Fair Trade
- Living Wage
- Gender Equality
Fairtrade certification isn’t always accessible to smaller, independent brands who still operate under Fairtrade principles, so at Ethical Hour we want to make sure that the full range of ethical businesses campaigning for these important issues get the recognition they deserve.
We’re pleased to welcome the following sponsors on board for Fairtrade Fortnight 2019…
Couchman Bespoke is an ethical tailors dedicated to reducing water over usage and water pollution in the clothing industry.
We educate people on living ethically and with conscience, on the Art of Alteration and beginner sewing lessons.
Alongside classes we offer alterations and bespoke garment making, because the most sustainable option is to alter the clothes we already have.
Fair trade is as important to our brand as the environmental impact of every garment we touch.
We work with tailors and crafters throughout London on projects bigger than us, all of whom receive a living wage and work in good conditions. This is the minimum anyone deserves.
As an ethical brand we look to empower all, to open up the clothing industry to all who have a passion and create jobs for those who need it. As a woman in a man’s world I have walked the windy road of judgement, coming out with better confidence and knowledge.
Our relationships with our organic suppliers are direct, local, personal, sustainable, tangible, and verifiable. It’s a way for customers to know that the products they’re purchasing will have a real and positive impact on the people and communities who make them.
For us it’s a continuation of Emanuel Bronner’s legacy. He wanted to change the world for the better with the label on our bottles. We want to do the same with what’s inside the bottle.
We do this through:
- Building equitable supply chains with fair pay, good working conditions, loans and community development projects support small-scale farmers and local economies—regenerative agricultural techniques improve soil and yield!
- Projects and partnerships with Canaan Fair Trade in Palestine, Serendipol in Sri Lanka, Serendipalm in Ghana, Pavitramenthe in India, SerendiCoco Coconuts in Samoa—fair trade and organic sources for all Dr. Bronner’s main ingredients!
Ecosse Éclat Ethical Jewellery
At Ecosse Eclat Ethical Jewellery I design and create every piece myself, I source all the materials I use from trusted ethical suppliers who treat their workers fairly providing a safe working environment, healthcare and a fair wage.
I wholeheartedly commit to an eco-friendly ethical strategy throughout the running of my entire business, I like to ensure that my small business does everything it can to look after our environment and reduce environmental impact on our world.
I believe that we must do more to protect the world we live in and the people we share it with.
I became a Fairtrade Foundation Registered Jeweller in 2018, The Goldsmiths Registration Scheme represents the single most significant development in ethical sourcing in the UK since the launch of Fairtrade gold in 2011. Buying Fairtrade Gold makes a real difference to the lives of miners.
Fair Trade Wales
Fair Trade Wales’ vision is to see an equal world, trading fairly. We helped run the campaign to make Wales the World’s First Fair Trade Nation, which was achieved in 2008.
Now we are the National Organisation for Fair Trade in Wales, helping to support, grow and promote the Fair Trade movement in Wales. We have links with community groups, businesses, faith groups, universities, Government and more.
People across Wales are proud of being a Fair Trade Nation. Wales has a strong history of workers solidarity and union working and our national identity has strong links with farmers, miners and artisans across the world.
All people deserve to have a living income and to be treated with dignity for the work that they do. Through buying Fair Trade products and campaigning for Trade Justice we can help choose the world we want every single day, through our purchases and actions.
Share Impact Ltd is a social enterprise dedicated to supporting social entrepreneurs and ethical businesses measure and communicate their social or environmental impact better.
Founder Kat believes your Impact Story is a powerful tool to engage and connect with anyone you want to bring on the journey with you: customers, beneficiaries, staff, funders and investors.
Kat is committed to women’s empowerment and creating a world where women are free from violence, discrimination and abuse but more than this a world where women prosper economically and are free to live a life they choose.
A big part of her mission is therefore supporting women to recognise their own worth, pursuing their passions and leading incredible social enterprises or ethical businesses that continue to change the world, one impact at a time.
Shared Interest is an ethical investment organisation, which aims to alleviate poverty by helping people in remote and disadvantaged communities, to trade and earn a living.
We act co-operatively with over 11,500 investors coming together to achieve a common goal, pooling their £41 million of investments. We then use these funds to provide loans and credit facilities to fair trade businesses, to ensure that farmers are paid on time for their crops.
Our work is not just about providing finance on fair terms. The fair trade producers we help say that we have helped transform their communities. Last year, our members helped make a positive impact on the lives of 470,000 individuals (39% of who were women).
In 2018, we made payments totalling £62.9m to 363 organisations in 63 countries.
“Thanks to Shared Interest the women have built new homes for themselves, started schooling their children, and paying their medical bills.” Shea butter co-operative member in Burkina Faso
Steenbergs is a friendly, family-run Yorkshire firm committed to Fairtrade, the environment and people. It was set up in 2003 by Axel and Sophie Steenberg in Melmerby, near Ripon and is passionate about providing organic teas, herbs, spices and cooking ingredients, all packed with flavour, aroma and provenance.
Steenbergs products are ethically sourced – many carry the Fairtrade Mark, organic, environmentally sound, great flavour, stylishly (and functionally) packed and there for you to create fun and delicious creations.
We are at the forefront of Fairtrade spices, having introduced the first Fairtrade spice, and first Fairtrade and organic Vanilla Extract in to the UK.
We continually strive to work in an eco-friendly manner incorporating many environmental features into our factory and are proud to say that we are a carbon neutral company. We use ‘green’ suppliers wherever possible and our packaging is all fully recyclable.
Weave Consulting are CSR specialists based in Malta. We take a holistic approach to CSR, helping business leaders transform their companies by integrating social responsibility in order to operate in a more sustainable and ethical way.
Fair trade implies environmental sensitivity, respect for human rights, equal pay for work of equal value and work conditions which protect the well-being of employees and enable a decent living. Companies which implement principles of fair trade have a competitive advantage, since they are more likely to attract and retain valuable and committed stakeholders.
At Weave Consulting, we help businesses turn these principles into tangible practices.
Y.O.U is Your Own Underwear – an ethical business producing stylish, organic cotton underwear for men and women where every purchase provides underwear to people in need. We use sustainable manufacturing processes, ‘real models’ to promote body confidence, and have a ‘buy one give one’ model to provide underwear to people who don’t have it.
We only use 100% Fairtrade and GOTS certified, PETA-approved organic cotton, as that provides us with the reassurance we need that our products are helping not harming.
For me, fair trade is just that: the clue is in the name. It’s about making trade work better for everyone, from ensuring small-scale producers get fair prices, to supporting safe working conditions and preventing forced labour, to ensuring equitable practices are adhered to throughout the supply chain. It also helps ensure all workers receive sustainable, living wages, and that products are made without harmful pesticides, fertilizers or genetically modified ingredients.
By purchasing Fairtrade products, you can do your bit to make a difference. It’s a direct way to vote with your wallet and support good businesses who are trying to be good businesses!
*WIP estimation based on the Living Income Community of Practice
**This is the estimated daily income per household member based on a typical cocoa farming household