It's currently Fairtrade Fortnight in the UK. Every year, for two weeks at the end of February and beginning of March, individuals and organisations across the country come together to celebrate all things fairtrade. The fairtrade symbol is one of the most recognisable in the world, denoting ethical products and can be found on everything from bananas, coffee and chocolate in your local supermarket to textiles and handcrafted items for your home. By purchasing fairtrade products you not only receive a high-quality and ethically produced item but you are helping to ensure fair and safe working conditions, better workers’ rights and equal pay for farmers and workers around the globe.
As businesses that are committed to creating a fairer and more ethical society it may come as no surprise that there are many social enterprises across Scotland that are already placing fairtrade at the heart of their mission. To coincide with Fairtrade Fortnight, we wanted to highlight some of the organisations featured on Buy Social Scotland that are helping communities internationally by producing and selling fair trade goods.
Carishea and their parent organisation Trade Right International are committed to improving the lives of those most disadvantaged in the world through fairtrade and advocacy. They work closely with communities in Ghana to source the shea nuts that are handcrafted into luxurious beauty products back in Scotland.
Carishea pay fair wages and return the profits they make into valuable education and development programmes in the communities where they work.
Gifts from Carishea:
Since their early beginnings in the 1970s, Equal Exchange UK have been committed to direct, fairer trading with farming communities across the world. They are passionate about creating transparent supply chains, ensuring everything that they sell can be traced right back to the producers.
Equal Exchange work closely with small, democratically organised farming cooperatives, creating long-term relationships within these communities to make the world a fairer place. The additional income that comes from the Fairtrade premiums means that these communities are able to spend money where it is most needed, whether it’s purchasing new equipment or materials or investing in health infrastructure. Equal Exchange also support producer development for their coffee growers which fund their Grown by Women initiative.
Gifts from Equal Exchange:
Glesga Roasters are changing lives through coffee. They source their beans directly from farmers across the world meaning they in turn are able to build vital infrastructure for their communities, send their children to university and invest in credit savings funds.
Glesga Roasters work closely with rural communities and farming cooperatives in Rwanda, sharing the stories and produce of the Sholi Cooperative, whose coffee is Glesga’s award-winning house roast.
As well as investing in communities globally, Glesga Roasters creates opportunities for individuals at home. They provide training and mentoring to people on the journey of rehabilitation and recovery, creating opportunities to build confidence and job readiness in a socially relevant industry.
Gifts from Glesga Roasters:
Based in the centre of Edinburgh, Hadeel is non-profit Fairtrade shop run by the charity Palcrafts and aims to provide a sustainable source of income and support for palestinian craftspeople and artisans in the West Bank, Gaza, Galilee, the Negev and Palestinian communities in Israel and Lebanon.
Hadeel works with grassroots social enterprises in Palestine and helps women bring their products to market. The handcrafts that they sell are examples of an art that is rooted in folklore and history which have now become a symbol of Palestinian identity in the face of the occupation of their land.
Gifts from Hadeel:
JTS (Just Trading Scotland)
Just Trading Scotland plays a fundamental role providing smallholder farmers and producers across the world with a market for their produce in the UK. JTS empower farming communities by developing partnerships and working closely with those who share their vision and values and creating sustainable income streams. Their particular partnership with farmers in Karonga, Malawi have led to improved education, living standards and working standards throughout the region.
Back in Scotland, through the sale of their delicious products, JTS are passionate about educating UK consumers and promote wider understanding of fairtrade principles and producer stories.
Gifts from JTS:
One World Shop
Based in the heart of Edinburgh, One World Shop is on a mission to reduce poverty in poor areas of the world through trading more fairly. They source and sell sustainable and fairly traded goods from around the world using an ethical and transparent framework, promoting equality and educating consumers along the way.
One World Shop takes time to build trusting relationships with their suppliers, all of whom produce goods and the highest standards and comply with internationally recognised fair trade principles. The individual artisans who make the goods that One World Shop sells are not the only ones that benefit from these sales, their families and local communities do too.
Gifts from One World Shop:
Schoolyard Chillies works with small, independent farmers in Ghana who produce some of the finest chilli products in the world. Schoolyard Chillies provide farmers with seeds at affordable prices, access to agricultural training, and a guaranteed route to market for their chillies. This stable income for farmers means that they are able to keep their children in school full-time, receive an education and have the ability to improve the community they live in. With any profits that they make, Schoolyard Chillies reinvest in education programmes in the communities where they work.
Gifts from Schoolyard Chillies:
We hope you have enjoyed finding out more about some of the social enterprises on Buy Social Scotland that put fair trade at the heart of what they do.
We’re always keen to add more social enterprises to the gift directory. If you are a social enterprises or know of one that we should include please email us at email@example.com