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Posts Tagged ‘fair trade’

Fairtrade Fortnight 1-16 May

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

It’s that time of year again, its FAIRTRADE FORTNIGHT! There are sooo many ways you can get involved.

The Fair Trade Association of Australia and New Zealand (FTAANZ) are asking New Zealanders to make The Big Swap. They want as to get as many people as possible involved to swap their usual stuff – coffee, tea, bananas, chocolate – even tee shirts –  to Fairtrade stuff.


If you want to know more about The Big Swap More or other ways to get involved go to the FTAANZ website www.fairtrade.org.nz/thebigswap

Fair Trade Fortnight Just Women

This year Trade Aid is highlighting the positive impact fair trade has on women working in developing countries with the theme for the fortnight being “’Just Women - justice for women by women”.

Mother’s Day falls during the Fortnight too, so it is a great time for Kiwi’s to show their support for women around the world, and those closer to home, by buying Trade Aid’s gifts.

More info at www.tradeaid.org.nz


is running it Biggest Coffee Break again this year. It’s easy, fun and a perfect excuse to get together with your friends or work mates over a delicious cuppa. Sign up today to hold a Coffee Break and we’ll send you a pack with everything you need, including free Caffe L’affare Fairtrade coffee or hot chocolate.

All the details are at www.oxfam.org.nz

Go bananas for fair trade!

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

Kiwis love bananas! So much so that as a country New Zealand imports the highest per capita amount of bananas in the world. But did you know that the majority of banana plantation workers do not earn enough to live and support their families? Some earn less than $3 a day.

gorillabananaFarmers struggle to cover their cost of production whilst trying to compete with large scale plantations owned by a small number of multinational corporations who dominate the global banana trade, controlling both the markets and prices. However, Fairtrade makes a world of difference - minimum prices are calculated to at least cover average local costs of production which can be double what producers would normally receive.

New Zealand has now joined the Fairtrade banana revolution! Fairtrade bananas are currently available only in a select few number of supermarkets. Help us show the supermarket chains that we want them all over NZ by spreading the word and going bananas for Fairtrade.

Join the email campaign: Sign up to get your voice heard and let the supermarkets know that you want to see Fairtrade bananas in your local store.

Tell the chocolate industry to sweeten up

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

Cadbury New Zealand has announced plans for its Dairy Milk chocolate to be Fairtrade by Easter 2010.  Cadbury’s decision to use Fairtrade cocoa in its popular dairy milk chocolate bars is a compelling example of the difference consumers have made to the plight of poor farmers in the developing world.

However, there is still a long way to go. Oxfam encourages you to:

* Email Cadbury to congratulate them and ask them to switch their entire line to Fairtrade
* Email Whittakers to encourage them to follow suit

For more info on the issue, go here.

The Hinitiative

Monday, September 28th, 2009



thehinitiative is a charitable design label playing Robin Hood. We all know that we like spending on ourselves and others, but we still want to help out somehow! It just seems a little easier to buy that latest stylish top than to pop that same amount into a collection bucket though.

So, why not kill two birds with one stone: LOOK GREAT, DO GOOD.

Get a t-shirt, look great in it, and money goes to charity and good causes. Simple as that.

thehinitiative provides
- their charity partners with a different way of fundraising via the street wear fashion market and a way of raising awareness of causes through a fashion medium

- the public with a brand that they can identity as being socially conscious and know that whatever is purchased through it will be contributing to society and good causes.

And, the icing on the cake: basically ALL their profit goes to charities.

WORLDCHANGING - A user’s guide for the 21’st century

Friday, September 25th, 2009

Edited by Alex Steffen; Forward by Al Gore.

This book is a ground breaking compendium of the most innovative solutions, ideas and inventions emerging today for building a sustainable, livable, prosperous future.

ecohouse_photoSections on Power, Shelter, Business, Community and just Stuff are divided into short, easy to read explanations of a few hundred of the best solutions out there. The guide is put together by a team of people who invite us to join their conversation on the best tools we can use to improve our lives.

You can join our library and get books and DVDs out for Free!

Right the wrongs with chocolate

Friday, September 25th, 2009

Cassandra Scott-Laffey

fair-trade-small1When we think of child rights, chocolate is not the first thing that springs to mind. But, when you stop and consider how that chocolate got on our shelves, you will find that child labour plays a large role.

Seventy percent of the world’s cocoa comes from West Africa where thousands of children are forced to work on plantations. These children, most of whom are under 14 years old, work 12 to 14 hour days in harsh conditions; they are often beaten and abused, fed one measly meal a day and paid just a few cents.

They are being denied a proper life, an education and a chance to have a say in the matter. They are being denied their rights!

Why is this allowed?
There is a huge demand for chocolate – we LOVE the stuff. Billions of dollars are spent on it worldwide every year!

Ivory Coast (Côte d’Ivoire) is the biggest producer of cocoa, with over half a million cocoa farms. Every year, thousands of children are forcibly taken from their homes and sold into slavery to work on the plantations. This problem is particularly bad in Ivory Coast as years of corruption and civil war have resulted in two factions fighting each other, the breakdown of families and increasing poverty.

While I am happy munching on a piece of chocolate, the children working on the cocoa plantations clearly do not receive a standard of living that anyone would be happy with.

What is being done?!
Major companies in the chocolate industry, such as Cadbury and Nestlé, have been challenged about child slavery, yet have been slow in responding. In the past, they argued that little could be done because there was no way of telling where the cocoa originated. But this was just an excuse!

Attempts have been made to improve the situation. For example, in the US, legislation was passed that tried to implement a labelling system for chocolate, which then led to the establishment of the International Cocoa Initiative (ICI). One of the ICI’s responsibilities is to ensure children are not being exploited, thereby eventually ending child labour in the industry. Although good in theory, it has yet to have any real impact.

There are some positive things happening though - Cadbury’s dairy milk chocolate in the UK will be fairtrade certified by the end of the year. With your help things can only get better from here.

Guilt-free chocolate
Fair trade ensures that communities get a decent percent of the money earned from selling their produce, and therefore the producers get to live happier and healthier lives. By receiving a decent wage, people can provide food for their families, and the whole community becomes wealthier, meaning they are able to provide for and develop future generations.

The rising availability of fair trade products has been raising awareness about issues like human rights abuses and child slavery. As demand increases for things like fair trade chocolate, it becomes even more accessible, meaning people actually get a say in where their chocolate comes from. Fair trade provides consumers with a choice, so buyers can take a bite out of their chocolate without the bitter taste of guilt.

Want to take action Check out the ideas in That’s not right! also by Cassie Scott Laffey.

Kowtow Clothing

Thursday, March 19th, 2009


Who are they?

Kowtow is 100% organic fairtrade clothing.. but they are also much more! Kowtow produce fantastic CDs from local and up-and-coming artists, which come free with every t-shirt you buy.

How can I be involved?

Buy a t-shirt! - they are 100% organic fairtrade, and the designs are just rad

Send them your music - they may be interested in throwing it on their next CD!

Micah Clothing

Thursday, March 19th, 2009



Who are they?

Darren Frazer, a part time Salvation Army Youth Worker, went looking for a source of Fairtrade Cotton t-shirts in New Zealand, but found none, so decided to do something about it. Micah have ensured that their supply chain is registered under the FLO (Fairtrade Labelling Organisation). The cotton is also organic (Certified by SKAL).

How can I get involved?

Buy their funky clothing! You can purchase online from their website, and they often have sales.


Thursday, March 19th, 2009


What do they do?

Make funky Fair Trade, environmentally friendly shoes!

How can I get involved?

Buy some! They are currently in stock at stores like Starfish and also on trademe.co.nz

Why fair trade?

Thursday, August 28th, 2008

By Nicole Mesman

It’s Saturday night and I am sitting in the back of our family’s ute as we make our way home from a friend’s house. I lean against the window staring out, when suddenly our old front stereo roars into life. It’s Dad; he has turned on the radio for what he thinks is the 7 o-clock news. He’s a little early however, they are just on a pre-news interview.

car-radioHi’, she says my name is Molly Crower and you’re listening to a pre-news muse, from the home of radio truth. Tonight we will be interviewing Hayden Spencer, Trade Aid’s spokesperson in New Zealand regarding the upcoming Fair Trade Fortnight. Good evening Hayden.

Hello Molly.’

So Hayden I hear that Fair Trade Fortnight is coming up from the 3rd to the 18th of May?’

It certainly is.’

Perhaps you could give us a bit of background? For starters what is fair trade

My ears prick up. This interview sounds interesting! I tell Dad to turn it up.

Nepal potsWell’ continues Hayden, fair trade is when companies buy goods such as cotton, tea, cocoa and coffee beans, and also craft items such as clothing, baskets, jewellery etc, from producers in places such as Africa, Asia and South America for a fair and consistent price. It also works to protect workers rights by preventing the use of harmful sprays around crops, increasing safe working conditions, and decreasing the numbers of child workers.’

And is it true that through fair trade’ the buyer is also contributing U.S 5cents per pound of coffee to the grower’s community for them to invest at will?

That’s right Molly’.

So now what can you tell us about Fair Trade Fortnight Hayden?

Well, it’s about raising people’s awareness, this year the fortnight focuses on environmental justice which is about us realising that the developing world, who contribute the LEAST to climate change will be the ones who feel it the MOST.’


CinnamonYes, I’m afraid so. The majority of the world live in developing countries yet it is the small percentage of the world’s population that live in developed countries (like us!) that have contributed most to this global problem. What people need to be think about Molly is how unfair is it that developing countries who are already losing out by unfair trade rules, will be expected to foot more than their fair share of the climate change bill. Realising this encourages us to think about how we can reduce our carbon footprint and reminds us how important it is to support fair trade. Throughout the Fortnight there will be loads of activities, competitions and events will be run all over the country. There’s more information at www.tradeaid.co.nz or www.fairtrade.org.nz.

That was great Hayden.

No problem Molly.

The interview finished and was replaced by the news, but I heard none of it. There were so many questions buzzing around in my head. How did fair trade start? Was Hayden just presenting one side of the story? Was fair trade really as good as they made it out to be?

tibetan-carpetsMy determination to find out drove me to the internet very early the next morning, where I found a range of information to answer my questions. I discovered that it all started in the late 1940’s after World War II, with some U.S churches selling handicrafts made by refugees in Europe. The idea of fair trade first came to Aotearoa New Zealand when Richard and Vi Cottrell, who had been helping out with the Tibetan refuge resettlement in India in 1969, came back to New Zealand to raise funds for the refugees. They started by selling a $1000 worth of Tibetan carpets in Christchurch and later moved on to develop Trade Aid stores across the country. At Trade Aid all products are made organically, produced on a small scale and shipped to conserve fuel.

I also found out that although most people would agree that fair trade is a good thing, it does have it critics. My research uncovered some individuals who thought supermarkets and companies where abusing the fair trade concept to make greater financial gains on products. One independent survey revealed that products where between 9-16 percent more expensive than others. One site didn’t think fair trade went far enough. It questioned the structures on which fair trade was built, saying that if they did not change significantly, the rich would continue to get richer and the poor remain poor.

After reading all this, my opinion is that fair trade is overall positive thing. Yes, supermarkets and some companies can profit from the products, but you can avoid this by buying from ethical stores such as Trade Aid. It may not be perfect, but anything that improves the working conditions and livelihoods of farmers and their families has got to be a good thing. Right!?

shopping-bags-smlTAKE ACTION - How can YOU support fair trade?


Learn more about environmental justice at www.tradeaid.co.nz
Check out the great cartoons at www.maketradefair.com which explain how unfair the current trade system is.

A version of this article was published in the May 2008 issues of actv8.