This year, Fairtrade fortnight runs from 27 February to 11 March and there are many ways to get involved. This year’s theme is Take A Step and, as a Fairtrade borough, Lewisham is encouraging residents and businesses to do just that.
Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world.
It doesn’t matter whether your step is big or small. Every single one counts because together they lead to life-changing projects in developing countries.
Sir Steve Bullock, Mayor of Lewisham, said: “Lewisham has been a Fairtrade borough since 2005 and we have already succeeded in taking a very significant step this year by qualifying to be a Fairtrade borough for a further two years. I am extremely proud that Lewisham has a strong and active steering group that overseas our activities and involves many of our major borough partners such as Goldsmiths, Lewisham Hospital and the South East London Chamber of Commerce.
“We all recognise that Fairtrade goods can cost more than similar products but the quality is very good, and for those that can afford it, we encourage them to support workers in the developing world by buying more Fairtrade products. For people that can’t afford it, there are always other ways to get involved – perhaps by joining our local steering group, helping to raise local awareness or persuading your local business to stock products.
“In Lewisham we also recognise and reward businesses, community organisations or individuals that promote Fairtrade in the borough. We now have a Fairtrade category in our Lewisham Business Awards. So why not nominate someone?”
Some ideas for what you can do:
- Invite a friend out for a Fairtrade tea or coffee.
- Organise a Fairtrade chocolate tasting (Lewisham is home to the owner of the Fairtrade chocolate producer, Divine Chocolate).
- Buy Fairtrade tea bags when it’s your turn at work and encourage your work colleagues to do the same.
- Use more Fairtrade products when your local community or faith group holds its regular get together.
- Find out about the wide range of Fairtrade products that now exist. It’s not just tea, coffee and bananas! Most of Lewisham’s libraries and leisure centres are supporting Fairtrade Fortnight so drop by to find out more.
- Tell your friends on Facebook about your favourite Fairtrade product.
- Ask your local shop to stock more Fairtrade choices.
- Nominate someone for a Mayor of Lewisham business award. There’s now a Fairtrade category because Lewisham Council wants to reward businesses, community organisations or individuals that are promoting Fairtrade in the borough. Nominees can be retailers, cafés, Fairtrade suppliers, voluntary organisations, or entrepreneurs.
- Become a member of Lewisham’s Fairtrade Steering Group or start your own campaign.
- If you’re a teacher, use some of the available resource packs to teach children about the importance of Fairtrade and perhaps set up a Fairtrade project at school.
- Register the step you are taking on the Fairtrade website and help us reach a national target of 1.5million steps.