Hot and refreshing, nothing beats a good cup of tea. Making it, and popping that little tea bag into a steaming cup just gives you a happy feeling.
But happy feelings aren’t necessarily what the farmers and workers have when they are growing and harvesting the tea. Many work long hours, are underpaid, and live in poverty. Health clinics, running water, electricity and adequate schooling for their children are just things to dream about, rather than a reality. They often cannot even enjoy a cup of tea that they’ve grown themselves.
Thankfully, Fairtrade is working to bring better working conditions, better pay and better community facilities and infrastructure to these people. Farmers associated with Fairtrade now wear smiles as they see their kids furthering their education, bridges being built to connect isolated villages, and medical clinics opening to provide help for the sick.
Each year, Fairtrade week highlights the need for more support for these and the many communities who are not yet benefiting from this organisation.
One way of raising awareness is getting our local schools involved. Here in Lewisham, primary schools have been studying the lives of people around the globe who produce goods such as tea and the great things Fairtrade do.
Encouraged by Lewisham Council, Lewisham kids have been designing Fairtrade posters to enter a competition where the winner’s poster is used on the side of one of our recycling lorries. This year’s winner was Isla Prosser from All Saint’s Church of England Primary School.
By choosing Fairtrade products you’re helping to transform the livelihoods of more than 1.4 million people in 74 countries around the world! I’d have a cup of Fairtrade tea to that!