Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Fairtrade Brockley!

Fairtrade Fortnight (26th February-11th March) kicked off yesterday and there are a number of events planned in Lewisham to celebrate it, including an ethical fashion show at the Albany, a Brazilian band at the Horniman Museum, a mayoral reception with local businesses and a fairtrade afternoon at Wavelengths.

Brockley Road is doing quite well for fairtrade, with Brockley Kitchen, Moonbow Jakes, Cafe Neu and Toad's Mouth Too all selling a range of fairtrade products (Moonbows have recently expanded their range). Lloyd Shackleford from Brockley Kitchen is passionate about fairtrade and is one of the speakers at the mayor's reception next week. Clement from Cafe Neu has more reason than many to support fairtrade; when I was talking to him it turned out that he used to work as a cocoa farmer in Nigeria so knows at first-hand what it feels like to work hard for a year then get next to nothing for what you've grown.

Pictured: Lloyd and Maurice from Brockley Kitchen. They have posters around the shop promoting fairtrade and Lloyd says that lots of customers tell him they have come to Brockley Kitchen specifically because they sell fairtrade tea and coffee (and flapjacks, hot chocolate . . .), so fairtrade makes good business sense for him as well as being the ethical thing to do.

Local shops seem to be lagging behind cafes somewhat, and from speaking to the shopkeepers, this may be because the cash and carries they use don't stock fairtrade. I think the cash & carry firms are missing a trick here. It is important that they start to stock Fairtrade goods so that small shops can do so. Many people who want to buy Fairtrade would also prefer to support local businesses, but at the moment small shops are losing fairtrade business to supermarkets.

Talking of small shops versus supermarkets, Traidcraft are doing a survey at the moment to find out peoples' views of supermarkets, the way they operate and how it relates to fairtrade.

Anyway, the fairtrade events in Lewisham are:

Friday 2 March 7-10pm: Fairtrade Ethical Fashion Show, The Albany Centre, Deptford SE8
Featuring Traidcraft, Chelline International Fashions, Think Fairtrade, Fathema and Rezia Wahid, Rosamond Robertson, Melanie Wilson, Zoƫ Hamilton-Peters, Mela Boev, Inkeri Medley and other local designers. (tickets are free but need to be booked in advance at the box office)

Sunday 4 March 1-2pm and 3-4pm: Fairtrade Rhythms, The Horniman Museum, Forest Hill, SE23. Get moving to the Brazilian rhythms of Viramundo to celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight.
(Free admission)

Thurday 8 March 6pm - 8.30pm: Fairtrade Reception, Civc Suite, Lewisham Town Hall
Catford SE6. Reception hosted by Steve Bullock, Mayor of Lewisham for local businesses in support of Fairtrade Fortnight. By invitation, but contact Shola if you would like to go.

Saturday 10 March 11am - 3pm: Fairtrade Stalls at Wavelengths Library, Deptford SE8, Drop-in

1 comment:

scott redding said...

Oxfam has some interesting stats on Fairtrade products ...

- 14% of us buy Fairtrade at every possible opportunity, while 57% shop Fairtrade on a regular basis.

- the most popular "future" Fairtrade goods include Fairtrade cosmetics (13%) Fairtrade computers (10%), Fairtrade meat (11%), Fairtrade mobile phones (8%), and Fairtrade cars (7%).