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    Fairtrade Fortnight - BAFTS UK Fair Trade Network

    Friday, 28 February 2020  |  Joanna

    Fairtrade Fortnight runs from 24 February to 8 March. This week we're looking at All's Fair's connections within the wider fair trade movement.

    All's Fair has been a member of BAFTS UK Fair Trade Network since 2006, but it wasn't until Joanna attended her second AGM and Conference in 2011 that she decided to get more involved in the running of the organisation. She explains why:

    BAFTS is a fantastic community of around 200 dedicated fair trade businesses. I feel so inspired whenever we meet up especially at the annual AGM and Conference. These events move around the country which has given me the opportunity to visit fair trade shops in lots of different towns and cities around the UK, getting ideas for display and new products.

    Joining the Board in 2011 as one of the people responsible for assessing new applications and membership renewals, I soon got into my stride, and applying the Ten Principles of Fair Trade to every application soon came naturally. These ten principles - set out by the WFTO - are the cornerstone of the fair trade movement and all BAFTS members commit to ongoing compliance and improvement when measured against them.

    BAFTS is a community of independent small businesses working together to promote fair trade retail in the UK. Its members include such an extraordinarily rich variety of organisations: from people who have full time jobs, but spend their weekends selling goods they source in from a single project in the global south, to organisations with turnover in the millions who employ teams of a dozen or more, selling to some of the biggest brands in the UK. It's remarkable how the organisation is able to bring together such a broad church of fair trade retail and wholesale businesses and embracing everyone whose business has the Ten Principles at its heart has always been a priority. 

    Taking over as Chair in 2013, I worked with other Board members to organise conferences in Leeds, Fife, Reading, Leicester, Bristol and York before handing over the baton in 2017 after two full terms on the Board. I remain a part of the renewals and new applications process, offering support to the teams which process and approve renewals and applications.

    My work with BAFTS was life changing, giving me public speaking experience (having failed a public speaking exam in 1986 aged 13) and experience organising events with lots of disparate people to try and please, but more importantly it has brought me some of the happiest and most rewarding friendships of my life. It can be quite lonely running a micro business from home as a sole trader, and BAFTS has given me a community - a tribe - of like-minded people.

    This year's BAFTS Conference will be on Sunday 3rd and Monday 4th May at the Centre for Alternative Technologies in Machynlleth.