“One World Week” (19-26 October 2014) Breaking Chains: Making Change

 “Action springs not from thought, but from a readiness for responsibility.”  Dietrich Bonhoeffer

This week is One World Week, and seems suitable for a pause for thought about how we, as members of a fair trade organisation, or as readers of our website who are interested in our cause, can help make a difference and break some chains in the realm of trade. Many of the ideas come from the One World Week website and pick up the strand about trading differently.

Hand-Breaking-ChainsHand-Making-Change

Chain

Living-Differently

“Living Differently” is the theme for One World Week 2014 and leads on from last year’s theme about consumption. It recognises that we as responsible citizens need to make changes to secure a fairer, more satisfying, life for us all and one that protects the planet’s resources for future generations. The subtitle “Breaking chains – making change” is inspired by Nelson Mandela’s words:

“… to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others”.

This year, OWW is drawing attention to campaigns and events which promote and involve active citizenship through sourcing food differently, reducing wastefulness, and using money differently.  These simple steps can help us to break the chains of the global food supply systems and consumer habits that damage the environment and communities worldwide and challenge the current money markets by using money positively to make the changes that can build a fairer and more sustainable world.

Fair Trade fits perfectly into this equation, as it challenges the way in which global trade is currently carried out, by putting the producer before profit. It demands fairer pay, better conditions, more gender equality, transparency, long-term partnerships, and no child labour. The WFTO 10 Principles of Fair Trade to which BAFTS and its members adhere is testament to this “alternative” form of trading. So, every time you buy fair trade you are helping break the chains of poverty for producers in developing countries, and helping them to be able to afford changes in their lives.

 

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“Pouring Oil on Troubled Water” Zaytoun reflects on 10 years of pioneering Fairtrade in Palestine

Zaytoun CIC, whilst not a member of BAFTS, is one of our close allies in fighting the war against unfair trade terms for disadvantaged and marginalised producers in developing countries.

They have worked hard for ten years to help Palestinian farmers carry out their traditional living in Gaza, with the threat of Israeli attack, Hamas’ counter attack and war as a near constant occurrence. Some BAFTS’ members and friends will remember Cathi Pawson’s stirring account of Palestinian families trying to harvest their olive crop against a backdrop of restricted access, limited permits, illegal land grabs and widespread destruction of crops. We are very pleased to be allowed to link here to Cathi’s reflections on those 10 years and what was deemed to be an impossible dream. Zaytoun’s 10th Anniversary event is at the end of November, and BAFTS is delighted to be able to be represented there.

An elderly Palestinian woman harvest olives near an Isreali separation wall in Binin Village. Image courtesy of Hami Abu Rahma.

An elderly Palestinian woman harvest olives near an Israeli separation wall in Binin Village. Image courtesy of Hamdi Abu Rahma via Zaytoun CIC.

Posted in Fair Trade

Crisp, bright new BAFTS’ banner mirrors website colours

We are delighted that our new BAFTS’ banner has been delivered with up-to-date logo, wording and images. The aim was to try and reflect some of the bold fresh look of this website, using background colours similar to the blocks of colour found on most web pages, eg orange, light blue, turquoise and dark blue. The match is not perfect, but the message is clear: to let members, the public, and possible new members know that we aim to spread consistent information about Fair Trade in a professional manner. We hope you like the result!

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Posted in Fair Trade

Headington Fairtrade (The Windmill) flags up BAFTS’ support

We are having a spate of articles appear on a variety of websites and online magazines at the moment, relating to one or more of our members and their successes, which is great to hear.

This article comes from a fellow fair trade shop which we hope might join us soon, and talks about their beautiful shop in Oxford, whilst also mentioning quite a few BAFTS’ suppliers and our organisation too. It is brilliant to have strong links with such like-minded supporters. We hope you enjoy reading the article!

 

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Lanka Kade article on Gift Association Website

We are delighted to publicise another great write-up of one of our other supplier members, Lanka Kade, on the Giftware Association website. Here the amazing story is told of the beginnings of Lanka Kade some twenty years ago, when Diane and Upul (Directors) were working for the International Red Cross in Sri Lanka. It is a heart-warming encouraging story of fair trade principles, coupled with expertise, determination and a will to bring better opportunities to producers in Sri Lanka.

 

The GA is the common abbreviation for the Giftware Asociation, and their purpose is stated below (taken from their homepage):”The GA offers many products and services, including design protection, networking, training, legal help, advice and support as well as a host of other money saving services. One of The GA’s main focus is as a representative body putting forward the collective view and position of our members, generally to government departments, agencies and regulators and also to the media and other opinion formers. The GA is a non-profit organisation with a governing body made up of elected representatives from the industry.”

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Myakka wins “Good Shopping Guide” awards second year running

We are delighted to relate that Myakka, one of BAFTS’ Direct Sourcing Retailers, has achieved 100% for the second year running to top the rankings for Ethical Furniture in the Ethical Company Organisation’s listings (compilers of The Good Shopping Guide).

Here is a shortened version of the blog from their website. The full article can be found here:

For the second year running, we have received full marks from the Ethical Company Organisation in the Good Shopping Guide. We scored 100/100 on a list of ethical criteria putting us at the top of the list for ethical furniture. The Ethical Company Organisation carries out research based on 15 ethical criteria under headings of Environment, Animals and People to give each company an overall score. This encourages businesses to keep high ethical standards. It highlights good practices and shows more negative practices which require change.

This leading directory provides detailed information on all manner of products and organisations, from banks to butter, washing machines to jeans. It helps consumers make informed decisions on shopping with a clear conscience.

Posted in Fair Trade

Traidcraft “Clean and Fair” presentation

This presentation was kindly amended by Traidcraft to show BAFTS’ members and interested parties at our AGM and Annual Conference in May this year. However due to technical difficulties, it was not shown. As many members expressed an interest in seeing this Presentation, here it is now to view.  As it was amended for BAFTS specifically from their own presentation, it is only right and proper that their permission is sought first before being used for any other events.

Clean & Fair Presentation for BAFTS

Posted in Fair Trade

Fair Trade Fayre 18th October Amesbury

Please see the attached poster and cake bake leaflets for more information on this great-looking event.

Ft Poster for 18th October                    Fairtrade Bake competition poster

Posted in Fair Trade

Floods in Kashmir hit producers and artisans

The following transcript is taken from a Facebook post from BAFTS’ member, Fair to Trade, many of whose Christmas decorations come from the Kashmir region of India. We are saddened to read of increased long-term hardships for producers and artisans working with our suppliers.

“Kashmir, and its capital Srinagar where our papier-mâché producer is based, has seen terrible flooding over the past week claiming over 200 lives. While waters are receding, some 400,000 people are still stranded in the state and food and water supplies are running low. 

This morning we heard for the first time in over a week from our producer and wanted to share his story. He writes:

“It has been our second birth. I am sure you must be seeing News but you can’t even imagine what it was, It was like Tsunami and we didn’t even get any time to move. We have never ever witnessed such a devastating floods.

I have been trying to get in touch with all the artisans and raw material suppliers. Though I have not been able to get through all the RM suppliers especially places wherein the floods was severe but thankfully most are safe. One of my RM supplier namely Mehrajudin, his entire property and goods is completely submerged in water. The artisans who work on the production are all safe but have been impacted in some or other way with these floods. The situation still remains grim although it is improving. The loss of lives and property has been severe. The connectivity is still not fully restored.

Our shop in the Central Market is completely submerged in water. It carried Paper mache and everything is gone. It is located in one of the main cities of Srinager and the water level there was 15ft.

We have not been able to move everywhere as 80% of the roads are damaged and are still under water. Will send you the pictures once road connectivity is restored. It will probably will take close 7-8 days to restore things and gauge the exact loss and impact on everything. I will keep you updated.”

Posted in Fair Trade

Fairtrade at St. Michael’s gives away £10,000!

Please see the PDF attached explaining how one of our BAFTS’ members, Fairtrade at St. Michael’s, has given away profits as a social enterprise. Read about who benefited and what they have done with their donations. This is a very inspiring read!

Fairtrade at St Michaels £10,000 Press release (2)

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