THE Justicia initiative, which aims to bring awareness to shoppers about where they buy their produce from, is led by the Fairtrade Foundation.
Fairtrade simply means trade at fair prices for farmers and producers of products, normally in the developing world. The farmers determine what is most important to them, healthcare, education for themselves and their families or improving their business. Trading fairly means they are able to put their hard earned money, plus a premium towards improving their lives and communities.
2017 includes campaigners, businesses, schools and places of worship getting involved in Fairtrade Fortnight and helping to change farmers lives for the better.
Justicia, is a not-for-profit social enterprise company set up in 1985 to promote the idea of trade justice. All its stock is Fairtrade certified.
We spoke to some of the workers at Justicia about why Fairtrade was so important to them.
One said: “Once you start thinking about the way the things that you buy are made and who makes them it seems clear to us that all the people involved should be treated fairly. This doesn’t mean that people want to live in luxury they just want many basic things that we take for granted, such as clean water, sanitation, education and access to healthcare. These things are often not provided automatically, the Fairtrade premium paid to communities allows them to invest in their community and improve their quality of life with these basics.”
Justica sell a range of products between 2,000 and 3,000 items, including tea, coffee and chocolate the more well-known traditional Fairtrade products, as well as craft items such as jewellery, scarves and incense.
To coincide with Fairtrade Fortnight, Justicia will be holding events in Bolton.
“We will be going into four schools in Bolton during Fairtrade Fortnight, where we will be delivering assemblies or lessons on Fairtrade and running stalls selling pocket money items to the children.our
“We have been invited to take a stall to a Fairtrade break in Bolton Council Offices. On Friday 3rd March there was a Fairtrade Break from 11 – 3 in Bolton Town Hall Square, people came along and bought a Fairtrade brew and some snacks from our stall there.”
Both of the managers at Justicia spent some time in their lives living in Africa and saw first-hand the poverty there but also the skills that many people have. Justicia has been in Bolton for more than 30 years and was set up specifically as a Fair Trade shop to help people in the developing world.
“In general we find that people are very willing to help others and the most obvious way is by giving to charity. BUT if trade was fair many people in the developing world wouldn’t need charity. Fairtrade helps these people to have the dignity of providing for themselves, using their skills and talents.”
Research about how the things we buy and consume are produced is very important. There’s a lot of evidence on the internet about the terrible conditions that people and often children are forced to work in. Just making a few changes in what we buy could begin to redress the issue and change the world for better.
For information on how to get involved visit the Fairtrade Foundation website which features a petition calling for more Fairtrade.