We continue to hear about the profound difficulties that declining orders and lockdown restrictions are causing small producers. In India, because sugar factories aren’t getting paid, they are in turn unable to pay farmers. In Sri Lanka, tea producers have been badly affected, and Fair Trade cooperatives are needing to offer assistance with food. and cash. Some Latin American farmers are harvesting and exporting at normal levels, but others are facing difficulties. Craft producers are finding fewer outlets. Please do pray for all Fair Trade producers – that they may stay safe and be able to access what they need for daily life and for the maintenance of production.
And please do continue to buy Fair Trade products. A number of people have asked us – “So how can we buy Fair Trade during lockdown?” If you’d like a fairly full list of options, do take a look at our brand-new guide to “Using Fair Trade in Your Church” – it’s got links to all kinds of outlets (on and offline) selling Fair Trade food, beverages, gifts, and cards. The lists are as useful for individual as for churches and other groups. We’re quite excited by the opportunities they offer!
If you’d like a quick summary, here are a few thoughts:
- it’s still possible, of course, to buy a number of Fairtrade products from supermarkets and local independent shops, whether you’re going in yourselves or ordering online. If you are shopping online in a supermarket, enter ‘Fairtrade’ into the website search. Often that will bring up a list of the Fairtrade products your supermarket carries.
- Several local Fair Trade shops are gearing up to re-open … and one, Fair Trade at St Michael’s, is now offering an order and collect service. You can order by email and collect the products on Mondays. Find out more about that here.
- Traidcraft remains an excellent ‘one stop shop’ for Fair Trade goods – which includes staples such as pasta, fruits and nuts, jam, honey, and cereal, as well as extras like biscuits, cake, chocolate, and sweets. They also carry gifts, cards, and environmentally friendly household goods – including quite a full line of Bio-D products in addition to their own brand. Take a look at their website.
- There are also a number of other online retailers carrying Fair Trade goods, including Ethical Superstore (primarily Fairtrade foods, alongside a range of ethical and organic products), the Oxfam shop online (Fair Trade, ethical household products … and lots of charity shop gems), One World Shop (a broad mix), Fair and Funky (ditto), and Shared Earth (primarily non-food gifts, cards, crafts, etc).