Just a year ago, we never imagined that The Fair Traders Cooperative would be chosen as a GLOBAL ADVOCATE – from dozens of applicants in Yorkshire.
Why 2012? To help to kick-start the campaign to get Yorkshire designated as the world’s first Fairtrade Region
What is the Award? To recognize a small number of individuals or groups based in, or with strong links to Yorkshire. Each award winner must be making a significant contribution towards making the world a fairer place.
In our submission, we wrote:
“Just imagine five hundred ordinary people, like you and me. Making a real difference to the lives of children and communities all around the world – and a difference to our lives too.
This is what happened when five hundred people, (many from Yorkshire, but some from far away places) were inspired to form a community co-operative. Launched in June 2010, The Fair Traders Cooperative (www.thefairtraderscooperative.co.uk) was made possible by each member buying at least one £20 share. Each and every person wanted to try and do their bit to make the world a fairer place – through promoting Fair trade and buying truly ethical goods.
We sought small producers, especially co-operatives – from Afghanistan, Bolivia, Colombia, Nepal and many other countries – whose lives we could support, by partnering with them, and selling their goods. We also have some local products that have a positive impact on our own community.
Buying products like these means that children around the world get a better deal.
• Drinking Grumpy Mule Guatemala Pocola coffee means children now attend school – with money supporting teachers, buildings and resources. And the coffee is grown in a way that protects the local environment.
• Each product has its own amazing story.
• Each product and supplier is assessed by the members and star rated (5 is best!) – to make sure it has a positive social and economic impact, is environmentally sound, and is produced in a transparent way.
Many members give their time as volunteers – working in the shop, helping with the website, assessing the products, taking assemblies in schools, etc
We, The Fair Traders Cooperative –
• Run campaigns, like the Rice Challenge– for every 90 kg of Kilombero rice sold, the child of a Malawian farmer can go to High School for a year.
• Hold events – learning from Fairtrade producers, promoting Fairtrade fashion, holding Eco-friendly art exhibitions
• Sell goods online and in the Holmfirth shop – for the home and the garden – clothes, toys, food and drink, gifts, stationery…and lots more.
• Share ideas and skills – online and through sessions at the shop
You can -
• Get your school or college or Youth Group to join, as a Corporate member
• Share ideas and learn more from our website and blogs
• Buy goods that you know are making peoples’ lives better, caring for the environment and helping communities grow
• Start your own ‘Young Co-operative’ to make and sell Fairtrade products”
Our submission took the eye of the judges, and as a reward, Mark Lewis (Chief Officer) and Kathryn Sheard (volunteer) were grilled by Hannah Dalyrmple from Leeds DEC! We soon felt we were in with a chance,
The DEC focused on two areas –
• Our work with schools and education partners, especially the opportunities for Young Cooperatives to work with us – to develop and sell Fair trade goods.
• The Just Trading Rice Challenge we ran in 2011. For every 90 kg of rice a farmer in Malawi sells, he can send a son/daughter to High school for a year. We found the image of 90 kg of rice on one side of the scales catapulting a young person to school in Malawi really inspired people! We sold over 400kg of rice.
GLOBAL ADVOCATE AWARD WINNERS:
• Bankside Primary School
• Hilary Benn
• Joseph Ndanema
• Liam Spencer
• Lindley Infant School (Kirklees)
• Nahid Rasool
• Not Just Us Youth Enterprise
• St Mary’s Menston
• The Fair Traders Cooperative (Kirklees)
We are delighted to have been chosen as one of only nine winners of the Yorkshire Global Advocate Award. So, thank you – to each and every one of the 540 members of The Fair Traders Cooperative for making this possible.
Leeds DEC has produced a ‘Global Advocate Exhibition Pack’ priced £14.99. This includes a DVD featuring the Award winners, case studies and classroom activities.
For further information contact:
Hannah Dalrymple, Leeds Development Education Centre Hannah@leedsdec.org.uk
A Thandi wine tasting evening on Monday, 27 February in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire, was a sell-out and a great success. It was held in the stone-arched caverns of The Fair Traders Cooperative. Vernon Henn, Managing Director of South African Thandi wines, led the wine tasting, and talked with great passion about the development of this first agricultural Black Empowerment Project.
In 2003 Thandi became the first ever Fairtrade certified wine brand in the world!
Established in 1995, with the help of the Paul Cluver family, the farmers battled to cultivate the land that was then covered in blue gum and pine trees. Vernon’s story charted the progress of the 250 producer families – from the euphoria and high levels of expectation surrounding the release of Nelson Mandela – to a gradual realisation of the slow rate of change within South Africa. The farms are unusual, in that the farm worker families own 55% of the wine company, and between 55% and 100% of the three farm vineyards.
When you buy this wine, the Fairtrade Premium is used to raise the living standards of the farming community, and to develop educational facilities for both the farm workers and their children. Many have never had the opportunity to attend school. The money from the Fairtrade Premium has also been used to fund the building of a medical facility and nurse training, and to improve transport for children and the elderly.
With vineyards at Stellenbosch, Elgin and Botrivier, the current production is 600 tons. The sun looks to always shine in stunningly beautiful countryside, and in fact, one of the challenges is to protect the grapes from the most intense heat.
The reality for many South Africans is that they have no access to participate in the formal economy. Thandi has bucked the trend and created a sustainable model based on partnership and mentoring.
The Fair Traders Cooperative is now stocking online and in its Holmfirth shop – a range of Thandi wines – so you can both enjoy the fantastic wine and also know that you are contributing to the well-being and future success of the South African farmers and their families.
TAKE A STEP with a Thandi Fairtrade wine. Enjoy the fantastic wine and also know that you are contributing to the lives of the South African farmers and their families.