World Fair Trade Day 2021
Friday, 7 May 2021 | Joanna
World Fair Trade Day falls on the second Saturday of May every year. While most campaigners in the hundreds of Fairtrade communities all around the UK concentrate their efforts on Fairtrade Fortnight - the end of February and the beginning of March - World Fair Trade Day is a great opportunity to get the word about about the wider world of fair trade.
This year's theme is "Build Back Fairer" - a slogan we can all get behind after the past year. Covid has had a severe impact on All's Fair - with virtually all our events cancelled for two years and plans to open a shop in Hull abandoned. Our customers have stuck with us, choosing to buy from us online instead and we're very grateful.
Our proprietor, Joanna, has taken on several new roles in response to the changes at All's Fair due to the covid crisis. Now working as Compliance Officer for BAFTS Fair Trade Network UK she also works closely with the teams at WFTO and SEUK as Project Lead on the eBay for Change programme. She has also recently been elected Chair of the Fairtrade National Campaigner Committee. This puts her in a unique place at the heart of the fair trade community and she's excited about the opportunities to build back better.
Let's look back at how things have changed over the last year and how we can build on it in the future.
As soon as the pandemic hit, we mobilised and worked with other BAFTS members to support producers who would otherwise have had no work to start producing face masks.
We also started selling Fairtrade food online for the first time, with chocolate and hampers being a particular favourite. This was a good way to support the farmers, workers and artisans in countries without a social safety net or a well funded health service who we knew were at the biggest risk from covid.
Our priority has always been the producers in low income countries who have been the victims of the way global trade has worked for centuries. Seeing the images from India - where all our signature recycled aluminium gifts are created - is heartbreaking for us, and we're making donations to the charities our suppliers suggest. Good Weave, who are working with one of our biggest suppliers, Namaste, have set up a fund to support workers and their families:
Our teams in the field report an acute need for food and medical supplies. Schools and some factories are closed, and everywhere there is uncertainty. Jobs have disappeared for workers who ordinarily subsist on daily or weekly payments. They have no money. Many migrants workers have returned to their home communities, and now they face job loss. Those who have remained at factories and worksites far from home may be unable to travel back to their villages with renewed lockdowns at state and national levels.
GoodWeave’s grassroots presence gives us the ability to reach these individuals. With emergency funds we raise through the COVID-19 Child and Worker Protection Fund, and in partnership with our member companies and their suppliers, GoodWeave is prioritizing these actions:
Once the covid crisis is over, there are lots of ways we need to Build Back Fairer. We need to build a world trade system that's fair to everyone, especially the farmers, workers and artisans who grow and make the products we buy. We need to tackle the stranglehold of half a dozen multinational corporations, reform tax to make it impossible for individuals to hoard wealth that should belong to everyone.
World Fair Trade Day gives us the chance to think about what the changes we want to see - to choose the world we want. The Ten Principles of Fair Trade give us a template for a fairer world, if we choose to build it.