All 7 entries tagged Sickness And Wealth

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February 22, 2005

UK Consumers Spend the Most on Fair Trade Produce

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It's a while since I made an entry in my media diary but this piece on the BBC's website caught my eye. Apparently, British consumers spent approximately £130m on fairly traded products last year which is the highest figure in the world. Whilst this is good news in that it helps producers withstand the volitility in commodity markets, it could cause problems of its own according to Traidcraft as the use of the Fair Trade logo is not regulated and the brand could be diluted by less stringently assessed products trying to cash in on the boom.

January 18, 2005

Unveiling of Warwick University's Fair Trade status

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This is my first media diary entry for a while and I thought I would make it on something of local interest. Our own dear university has managed to acquire official Fair Trade status, which will be presented to it in a few weeks' time. This essentially means that Fair Trade alternatives will be available (and advertised) in all Warwick Hospitality outlets (the Union is already 100% Fair Trade in tea, coffee, hot chocolate, and sugar). For details of Fair Trade, look further back in this media diary or at the website of The Fair Trade Foundation. Fair Trade products are identified by the Fair Trade mark:

December 01, 2004

Fair Trade for Christmas

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It's a long time since I made an entry in my media diary so I thought I should put something up. The above is a link to Traidcraft, a Fair Trade retailer, where they sell a large range of fairly traded products including fairly traded choclate money:

and Fair Trade Chocolate honeycomb:

So, go and have a look around and spread the wealth (a bit).

October 25, 2004

A massive dose of information about global trade

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As a slightly early regular update to this media diary, here is a link to a Guardian special report on Fair Trade with links to many recent news items on Fair Trade and Trade Justice (which are distinct issues). It includes articles on why the WTO is Satan incarnate, what's wrong with agricultural subsidies in Europe and the US both under WTO rules and in terms of Trade Justice, plans to develop Fair Trade brands, and case studies and analysis of global trade. Happy reading.

October 20, 2004

The historical need for Fair Trade: The Indian example

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As we are covering colonial development at the moment, I thought that for my entry on the historical antecedents of Fair Trade and the creation of the conditions in which Fair Trade became necessary or desireable, I would look at the example of the British presence in India in the 1600s-1947.

A brief précis of the Encarta article linked above is as follows: the British East India Company and other European nations and corporations were originally attracted to India by the possibility of new markets in which they could buy raw materials and sell manufactured goods. By the time the British East India Company was established as the overall ruler of India in the mid-18th Century, and thereafter until independence, the British bought raw materials such as cotton, shipped them home for processing, and then sold the manufactured goods back in India, thereby ruining native cottage idustries. That is why a plank of Indian nationalism in the early 20th Century was the spinning of one's own cloth and the making of one's own clothes, and also why the symbol at the centre of the flag of the independent India is the spinning wheel.

This relates to Fair Trade in that it amply demonstrates the attitudes of the First world (as it was later named) towards the third; an attitude which is still exemplified not only by exploitative trade practices such as the refusal to pay a fair price for goods, but also by the existence of structures such as the EU's Common Agricultural Policy which acts as a very effective barrier against foreign goods by allowing Europen farmers to sell their produce at a lower price.

October 13, 2004

Fair Trade, a case study: Edgar

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In my first entry to this media diary, I looked at the consumption side of Fair Trade, specifically in our own Union; this week, I'm going to focus on the production side, specifically a case study of a coffee-grower from Costa Rica called Edgar. Edgar, though uneducated himself has, thanks to Fair Trade, been able to educate his children through scholarships from his growing co-operative, including sending one to medical school. The co-operative sell 30–40% of their coffee to the Fair Trade market at a fixed rate and the rest is subject to the vagaries of the international market, which at the moment gives them a very poor price for it. However, because of Fair Trade, not only is Edgar able to educate his children, thus aiding the development of their community, he also has a reliable income which does not fluctuate in the same way as it would if he relied solely on market-driven sales. This is the key feature of Fair Trade produce, the use of profit for local development projects and the steady price in order to give small growers a steady income. It won't solve all the problems of the third world by itself, but it can help some communities greatly.

A picture of Edgar and his wife, Blanca, can be seen here:

October 05, 2004

Fair Trade in the Union

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Considering we were encouraged to come to this course with an agenda, I thought I might as well try to promote mine and do this media diary on Fair Trade. I'm starting close to home with our own dear Union which in January passed a policy stating that all tea, coffee, hot chocolate, and sugar must be Fair Trade produce.

In a nutshell, Fair Trade is about ensuring that growers of crops such as those mentioned above get more money for their produce (ie. enough to sustain a more comfortable lifestyle) as well as using a portion of the money for community development projects in the growing areas. Fair Trade produce carries the Fair Trade mark:

More information can be found at the Fair Trade website.

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