25th February – 10th March
On Wed 27th Feb, under the Community Initiative, Dundee FC Supporters’ Society are delighted to welcome a delegation from Dundee Fair Trade Forum. The forum looks to promote the use of Fair Trade products, and below is an outline of some of the work they do.
When we are enjoying a cup of coffee or a piece of chocolate, how much do we consider the lives of the people who grow the coffee beans or the cocoa pods? Fairtrade Fortnight is a time when we think especially about all the people who produce the food we love, and take a stand against the injustices they face in the global marketplace.
Despite producing lots of food for export, small-scale farmers in poorer countries often struggle to provide for themselves and their families. Ironically they are the ones most likely to go hungry in the world, and in uncertain times are the ones who are hit hardest.
While solving the world’s hunger problem will take considerable political effort, all of us can do our bit every time we go shopping! Just by choosing a product which has the FAIRTRADE symbol, we can all make a difference to the lives of some of the most marginalised people in the world. There are now around 5000 such products available, not just bananas and chocolate, but also olive oil, beans, beauty creams, cotton and even footballs! Together sales reached a billion pounds in the UK last year, representing 1% of the money we spend.
Fair trade is an alternative model of trade and is unique in being the only trading system to have poverty reduction at its core. It is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. By requiring companies to pay sustainable prices (which must never fall lower than the market price), fair trade addresses the injustices of conventional trade, which traditionally discriminates against the poorest, weakest producers. Fair trade enables producers to improve their position and have more control over their lives. It is about a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work, and ensures that people in the developing world are treated in a similar way to how we would like to be treated here in Dundee.
In 2004, Dundee became Scotland’s first Fairtrade City! This means that Fairtrade products are widely available in shops and cafes throughout the city, and that businesses and workplaces here support fair trade. Dundee City Council has a policy which includes serving Fairtrade tea and coffee at Council meetings and when offering hospitality.
With representation from the Council, the Dundee Fair Trade Forum (DFTF) is working hard to build a fairer world here in Dundee and across the world. One way in which it does this is by running a stall selling Fairtrade products at the annual Food & Flower Festival. This has proved popular with shoppers at the festival, especially as Fairtrade products are of high quality, though don’t necessarily cost more! Last year, DFTF arranged events at Dundee University, Mcmanus Galleries and Morgan Academy for visiting sugar producer, Masauko Khembo. This enabled adults and children to hear directly of the benefits which Fairtrade has brought to Masauko’s community in Malawi. Some of these were things we would take for granted, like an ambulance and a primary school.
Dundee FC fan Art McGuinness has been volunteering with the Dundee Fair Trade Forum for the last year and has become heavily involved. He previously sold many Fairtrade products in his deli and was always hearing positive comments about the products from his customers. He is keen to work with the club to have Fairtrade products used in hospitality and beyond.
In keeping with its values of justice, compassion and integrity, Scotland will shortly announce that it is a Fair Trade Nation! Dundee is part of that wider movement to value what is important in life - that is meeting the needs and rights of people everywhere, whether a tea picker in Kenya or a football supporter in Dundee!
To find out more please visit our website, www.ftfdundee.comli.com
Dundee FC Supporters’ Society would like to welcome Dundee Fair Trade Forum to Dens for the visit of St Johnstone, and hope that Dundee fans take some time to visit the stall, or read the leaflets, and possibly learn something about the work done by Dundee Fair Trade Forum, and Fair Trade organisations all over the world.