I was thrilled to be asked by the Co-op Midcounties to celebrate 25 years of Fairtrade and take part in their #1Swap for October. A brilliant but simple campaign to swap one item in my basket for a Fairtrade product… we’ve swapped our Friday wine for Fairtrade wine, and have now bought Co-op Fairtrade tea and bananas as well. It’s a simple change that makes a huge difference to the workers. It’s also one we’re going to try to stick to. Our local Co-op is really convenient being only a few minutes walk from H’s school and it also has the Post Office too – so we can kill two birds with one stone and buy products which give workers better pay along with everything that goes with that. It just seems more ethical!
“Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world.”Quote from https://www.fairtrade.org.uk/What-is-Fairtrade
Making #1Swap is also a great opportunity to talk to H about Fairtrade, what it means and why it’s good to buy products with the Fairtrade mark over those which don’t have it. H is so curious about everything, so talking about anything like plastic reduction, recycling and sustainability is brilliant for kids to learn young so they don’t see all the changes we are making as a big deal. To them it’s just the way life is.
Why is Co-op Midcounties championing Fairtrade?
I previously blogged about using Fairtrade wine in a chicken, sage and mustard recipe for Fairtrade Fortnight in 2018, so I knew the Co-op had always been at the forefront of Fairtrade in the UK, but hadn’t realised that they are the largest convenience seller of Fairtrade products in the UK, had the first own brand products to have the Fairtrade mark, and are also the largest seller of Fairtrade wine in the world. Quite impressive really, don’t you think?
So the fact that Co-op Midcounties now have several own brand products which are only Fairtrade is really good – for instance they only sell Co-op tea, coffee, bananas, sugar, cocoa and even flowers, are all Fairtrade with no alternative, so that makes swapping to Fairtrade easier.
Fairtrade makes such a difference, and really is a better way to shop. Wouldn’t we all like to get paid fairly to enable us to live with better standards of living, job security and reduced vulnerability and security? Wouldn’t we see that as only fair, here in the UK? Of course! So why do we think it’s ok for others in developing countries to live that way and be treated that way?
What is #1Swap?
I like this #1Swap campaign, as it’s easy for anyone to do – Co-ops are so widespread, and if everyone made one swap it would make a huge difference to the workers lives. For instance my girls would eat several bananas a day if they could – so it’s an easy swap to make. I did buy Co-op decaf tea bags (also Fairtrade, like all their own brand tea), but I’ve been toying with buying loose tea to reduce our plastic consumption so that might be one of our next plastic free swaps. It’s a simple swap that could be quite easy and while we swap we might as well go Fairtrade too, every little helps!
What would you swap in your basket to celebrate 25 years of Fairtrade?
Disclaimer: AD – This post is written in collaboration with Co-op Midcounties.
P.S. We do like the Co-op and celebrated Fairtrade Fortnight with them in 2018 blogging a Chicken, Sage, Mustard and Fairtrade wine recipe. Not only that, it’s where to had my first Saturday job many moons ago and we were so relieved to see the village shop in Bluestone stocked Co-op products – it’s nice to know what you’re buying, isn’t it!