The Fairtrade Foundation exists to ensure a better deal for marginalised and disadvantaged third world producers.
What is it?
Fairtrade Foundation's terms of trading:
A price that covers the cost of production.
A 'social premium' - some additional profit to be used by the producers to improve their living and working conditions.
Some money paid in advance to avoid small producer organisations falling into debt (if they need to buy seeds or tools)
Contracts that allow long term planning, because the producers know they will have a customer.
What fair trade products are there?
Where do they come from? Cocoa/chocolate tea coffee bananas trainers Some of these products may be fair trade, some are not coffee
Some reasons why…
Some 20% of the male banana workers in Costa Rica were left sterile after handling toxic chemicals. As well as being forced to endure appalling working conditions, plantation workers are also paid pittance wages. In Ecuador the plantation workers are paid just $1 per day. When the workers try to organise into trade unions their efforts are often met with violent suppression.
Sivapackiam's case study
Sivapackiam has been picking tea on the same estate for 23 years. Her mother and grandmother did the same job before her, and it's a hard life. "Our biggest problem is that we have too much to do. In the morning we prepare meals and get the children to school. We have no time even to eat. I have to work very fast, so I get very hungry. We have to carry 10-15 kilos of tea to the weighing place, which can be three quarters of a kilometre away. After work it is the same - we have to do all the cooking and collecting firewood and getting water." She takes home the equivalent of 80 pence a day. "We eat rice and one vegetable. We would like to have two or three vegetables but we cannot afford it. Towards the end of every month we find it difficult."
Would you like to swap places with the tea pickers?
Why do the pickers get less for the tea than it costs in the UK?
How could the pickers be paid more?
Would you pay more for their teabags to give the workers a better deal?
Get into groups of three. Within each group designate a shopper, a tea picker and the manager of a company that imports and sells teabags.
The richer countries of the north are in a position of strength when they deal with small producers in poorer countries. To stop that power being abused each group will draft a set of the five most important rules companies must follow. Individual students must get the best deal they can for the role they are playing.
What should the rules aim to do for the supplier? The supplier gets a good quality and reliable supply of the raw materials they need at a price they can afford.
What should the rules aim to do for the producer? The producers will get a price that reflects their effort. They must have enough money to look after their families, and at the end of the year be better off than they were at the start.
What should the rules aim to do for the shopper? This is for the groups to decide for themselves.
Write a statement or produce a poster that will be diplayed next to the teabags in your local supermarket. It should explain how shoppers chosing tea with a fair trade mark can help tea pickers.
Are you an ethical shopper? Kit Kat, Mars Divine, Traidcraft chocolate Adidas, Fila, Reebok, Umbro Birkenstock, Cheatah Shoes & trainers Bonita, Dole Fyffes bananas Low score High score product