Get the Full Fairtrade Experience
As a whole the market was a very colourful sight that left the Strathclyde Room of Glasgow's Royal Concert Hall looking like a multi-coloured and exotic bazaar.
It is a strange world we live in where the perfect shape and colour of export bananas is more important than the health and wellbeing of the disadvantaged farmers and workers who supply them. Strange is one word for it, but with that scenario repeated across the globe, The Fairtrade Foundation may have other words to describe the situation – unbalanced and unjust.
From March 6 until March 19, the independent consumer label, Fairtrade, have again embarked on their annual campaign, Fairtrade Fortnight, to make us aware of the products we can opt for while topping up our trolleys, to help the farmers and workers in the developing world getting a better deal.
As part of this drive to break our habits of steering automatically towards the giant consumer brands, a host of public events took place throughout March across the UK, ranging from coffee mornings, Fairtrade feasts, fashion shows and numerous markets showcasing fair trade products.
Glasgow's event, The Fairtrade Experience was organised and hosted by The New Consumer Magazine and offered an ideal platform for the local suppliers to share their fairer wares with the public. Over 20 stalls displayed a bit of everything from food to books, from clothing to footballs. Furthermore, there was opportunity to hear speakers from Southern Burkina Faso, Nicaragua and Ghana, as well as live world music performances and free Reiki tester sessions. As a whole the market was a very colourful sight that left the Strathclyde Room of the Royal Concert Hall looking like a multi-coloured and exotic bazaar.
Fairtrade chocolate was a great favourite and featured on many stalls along with dried tropical fruit and vegetables. As you would expect the wine stall, run by Fayre Trade Ltd, boasting to be Scotland's first licensed fair trade shop, generated a lot of interest, as did the ever-popular and now well-known One World stall. Oxfam were also there to remind us of the good work they do to promote the cause and it was good to see at least one supermarket chain, alongside hip and trendy Silverchilli and THTC.
Silverchilli proudly proclaim they provide the freshest fair trade jewellery available on the web. The company gives back its profits to the community areas where its silversmiths live, but, as well as being funky and hot, Silverchilli is also "green", as it plants as many trees as are needed in the communities to neutralise the effect of the deliveries that have to travel by plane.
Steering away from hemp kaftans, fair trade clothing is also taking on a new look and working hard to provide consumers with the fashionable items they want, but with a real feel-good factor. Urban eco-wear company THTC sells T-shirts, hoodies and sweats that are wholly made up of organic materials (55% hemp and 45% cotton). The hip designs hop to a different ethical fashion beat that, in a word, rocks.
Get your fix, whether it may be coffee, chocolate or clothing; but the options are out there to get it fair.