Please note: This topic is for discussions paid for by Mumsnet clients. If you'd like to have your own paid for discussion thread, please feel free to mail us at insight@mumsnet.com. If you are a start-up or student and you want to request feedback from MNers, please post in Media Requests topic.

NOW CLOSED: Do you buy Fairtrade products? Share your views (and hear about The Big Fair Bake) – and you could win a fab Baking Goodie Bag worth £100

(142 Posts)
AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 24-Sep-12 14:39:41

We've been asked by The Fairtrade Foundation to find out your thoughts on why Fairtrade products aren't bought by more people and also to encourage you to get involved in the Big Fair Bake.

Add your thoughts below - or share how you're getting involved (including who (person, group etc) you'd love to bake for) for a chance to win a lovely Baking Goodie Bag (worth £100).

The Fairtrade Foundation say "we think baking tastes better when you share it, so we want The Big Fair Bake to inspire the nation to bake for others. It's as simple as buying a few Fairtrade ingredients, popping on your pinny or rolling up your sleeves and baking up a treat - not just for friends, family, colleagues, but also the farming communities in developing countries who grew the ingredients".

"Baking with Fairtrade ingredients is one easy way for everyone to make a difference to millions of people who desperately need a better deal from trade. Without a fair price for the crops they grow, many farmers struggle to support their families. Fairtrade offers farmers and workers the safety net of a fair price today and a little extra to invest in projects which benefit the whole community, such as clean water, education and health care".

"The good news is that sales of Fairtrade products have reached £1.3 billion in the UK, however this still only accounts for 3% of all our food and drink purchases"

The Fairtrade Foundation would love to know your thoughts on what would make you bake with more Fairtrade ingredients? How can they encourage others to do so too?

Let us know what you think and you'll be entered into a prize draw where one Mumsnetter will win a fantastic Bake Goodie Bag, packed with £100 worth of Tala baking equipment, Fairtrade baking ingredients (including cocoa, vanilla, nuts, chocolate and dried fruit), cake decorations and complementary Fairtrade products to enjoy with your cakes, including tea and coffee.

You can find out more about The Big Fair Bake here.

Thanks and good luck!
MNHQ

lorisparkle Mon 24-Sep-12 23:53:48

As many have already said in our house every penny counts. Therefore I buy the best value product. I would love to buy 'local' or 'fair trade' or 'organic' but if it is more expensive then I don't buy it. I know that it is easy in our 'first world' country to ignore the impact our shopping is having on the wider world but my time and my finances are tight. If Sainsburys or the Co-op was our local shop (within walking distance) then I would buy more fairtrade but I walk or cycle whenever possible and so end up in Tesco (which I hate!).

While I understand that they will always want to increase the amount of fair trade products brought in the UK, I did hear recently that FT in the UK is much bigger than in Germany & France combined. So we are doing well.

I will buy FT if the price difference isn't huge & often it isn't.

I always buy FT bananas & coffee

flamingtoaster Tue 25-Sep-12 10:27:59

I buy Fairtrade where the price difference isn't huge - I'd probably use more Fairtrade products in baking if the price difference was even less. I always buy Fairtrade bananas and chocolate. Other products where available/when price suitable.

firawla Tue 25-Sep-12 10:44:05

Like most other people mentioned, it's mainly a price issue. At the moment we are mainly having to go with the supermarket basics or the cheapest of everything.
Fair trade is something I would like to support more because I really agree with the principal of it and seems like a much better way to shop, but have to admit when we are in the supermarket I tend to forget to think of it that much especially if we are just trying to get everything done in a tight budget, but the more fair trade stuff available the better especially if it is competitively priced - if the difference was not that much and I saw it there clearly on the shelf then I would try to buy it more

HappySunflower Tue 25-Sep-12 10:45:20

I try to buy Fair Trade ingredients as much as possible. I find this is easy enough with chocolate and coffee where it is clearly labelled on the products, but less easy to do with things like sugar and cocoa.

Clearer labelling, along with competitively priced products, would make me more likely to purchase fair trade products.

I expect to pay no more than around 10% more for Fair Trade products, and that's my rule of thumb when I'm shopping really. Any more and it makes it tricky for me to do that!

I'm in Germany, so this may not be very relevant to the discussion, but here Fairtrade is really not a big thing at all - there is only a tiny selection of FT products available in the supermarket.

Personally, I buy as much as I can from local farmers and growers, only in-season stuff, and pref. organic/free range etc (though local or even just national grown trumps organic from abroad for me every time).

So no, I don't buy Fair Trade.

Merrylegs Tue 25-Sep-12 11:08:16

If I SEE Fairtrade goods when I go shopping I tend to chose it over other stuff (eg fairtrade bananas), however the only time it jumps out at me and is obvious is at the CO-OP

Having said that, I had to buy some granulated sugar yesterday. Fairtrade and Tate and Lyle were side by side on the shelf - T&L was 65p, Fairtrade was 83p (same size bags). Sorry, Fairtrade. I went with the cheaper.

(And then I thought, is Tate and lyle really so 'bad' anyway? I don't know. It made me think if a food isn't labelled fairtrade, is it always unfairly traded?)

Blu Tue 25-Sep-12 11:11:51

I buy Fairtrade where I have read an article about the details of the growers and it has made an impact on me. So Pineapple, coffee, chocolate and bananas. The conditions under which all the workers operate are important to me - I read an article about the chemicals which give workers on pineapple plantations terrible sores and respiratory problems. I often see that certain Fairtrade Jams (Deurrs?) are often cheaper than regular in Sainsbury's, so I buy them.

It doesn't always have to be about exact price, but it does have to be good quality and good value. I didn't used to buy the old Cafe Direct because the coffee was horrid. Now that you can get good fairtrade grinds in other brands I do buy them. I see the Sainsbury's 'basics' ground coffee is Fairtrade (excellent price) and I buy that and use it half and half with Fairtrade Columbian.

Can't say we always buy fairtrade - often comes down to what the supermarkets stock. If the price difference is fairly minimal then tend towards buying FT but can be a bit of a whim.

Would like to know how much of the FT price the suppliers get vs a typical brand - do the supermarkets make better margin on FT or is it evenly split?

StellaAndFries Tue 25-Sep-12 11:24:26

If I could afford it I'd buy more fair trade products but unfortunately we're on a tight budget so usually if it's much more expensive we go for the cheaper option. However I do buy lots of locally produced meats, veg and other produce so feel I'm helping in my local area.

nipitinthebud Tue 25-Sep-12 11:33:54

During FairTrade week they did bits about it at my DC's school and church events. I had always assumed that Fairtrade was much more expensive than other stuff, but was suprised that for many items the price difference is very competitive. Price was always the one thing I thought put me off buying it. But I now check out the prices of stuff a bit more carefully. But these days especially I generally buy what is the cheapest on offer, fairtrade or not.

The big thing for me is seeing that there is a fair-trade option available. So, a nice big logo on the front, and maybe a sign on the supermarket shelf too. If this flour (say) says "Fair trade" on it, it kind of flags up that that flour next to it may NOT be - whereas before I might not have known that FT flour was available or that some flours may be unethically produced. And if there is a choice between one that is FT and one that is not, I would rather get the one that is (as long as the price difference is not TOO massive).

The other thing I LOVE though is when shops/supermarkets/cafes etc start selling the fairtrade version of something as the "standard". For example, some cafes now have signs to say all their coffee is fairtrade - much better than having to rely on the small number of customers who would actually think to ask for a fairtrade one that's in little letters on the bottom of the menu. Similarly, I think I have seen some shops (Sainsbury's?) now use fairtrade for their own brands for some things (sugar I think?) - again this is great as it makes it the standard, makes it the obvious choice, and (hopefully) avoids big price differences that put people off (especially if it seems like they are just using the FT tag to increase profits).

It also helps to have a choice of different FT products. I've found that some FT coffees, for example, just don't taste nearly as nice as other brands, so I am more reluctant to buy them. But if there is a nicer alternative that is also FT, then that's not an issue any more!

PostBellumBugsy Tue 25-Sep-12 11:41:19

I buy fairtrade when the price difference between that & ordinary products is not significantly different. In an ideal world, I would only buy fairtrade products, but I'm on a tight budget, so I buy them when I can.

Also, fairtrade products are not that widely available in supermarkets, so sometimes there aren't any. I've never seen fairtrade rabbit food, ketchup or mayonnaise, for example.

LineRunner Tue 25-Sep-12 11:54:45

I do buy lots of Fairtrade products, and it's good to see so many being 'mainstreamed'.

But the cost of shopping is always going to be a factor, especially with food prices rising steadily, in the same way that many people might love to buy corn-fed organically reared happy free-range chickens but just can't afford to.

There are some Fairtrade bargains, though. The tea in Asda is very reasonable.

strandednomore Tue 25-Sep-12 12:32:51

I buy Fair Trade because I used to live in the Caribbean and I have seen first hand the real difference FT can make to small, vulnerable island communities. Life is pretty tough for most people but at least FT gives them some hope of earning a decent living. And also lessons the chances that they will turn to being involved in the drugs trade instead....

Cambam2010 Tue 25-Sep-12 12:39:22

I think that the supermarkets need to include the Fairtrade products in their offers. I am more likely to buy things that are on a cheaper bulk buy or 3 for 2 etc. Unfortunately it has to come down to price.

I'd like to buy more Fairtrade but if I can get a similar product cheaper then my budget rules the decision.

Asmywhimsytakesme Tue 25-Sep-12 12:54:54

Good project - thank you MNHQ!

I think I hadn't ever thought about baking with fair trade.

We buy fair trade bananas and coffee but I will definitely think about baking with fair trade stuff now.

ChristineKochanski Tue 25-Sep-12 12:55:15

Like so many others have said, cost can be a problem. I would love to be able to afford organic, fair trade, free range food, but until the prices are more comparable, I can't.

Annamaria0 Tue 25-Sep-12 12:56:49

I always buy Fairtrade bananas and coffee, and also try to buy other Fairtrade food stuff, especially chocolate, as I know cocoa trade can be exploitative. I have also bought Fairtrade clothes, mainly from People Tree, whose work I admire. I would gladly buy more Fairtrade products, not just food, but also clothes, but there just aren't nearly enough options, especially when it comes to non - food items. Also, if it is a choice between local, non - Fairtrade, and imported Fairtrade, I will always choose local.

pdb Tue 25-Sep-12 12:58:01

I used to always buy any available fairtrade options despite cost. Now I buy whatever is cheapest or on offer because I have less money. I'm very sorry to say looking after my family finances is now more important to me than considering someone elses.

Emandlu Tue 25-Sep-12 13:13:26

I am completely behind the idea of fair trade, but when bills are rising so dramatically and wages aren't I don't have the luxury of choice at the moment.
I hate that I can't afford fair trade products as it means I am now buying into a system with which I fundamentally disagree.
I understand why the fair trade products are more expensive, but like organic food currently beyond my budget.

Blu Tue 25-Sep-12 13:17:25

What I don't understand is how I can shop in a supermarket and buy a fairtrade product, like bananas, from overseas, but that very same supermarket is forcing extremely unfair trade on our own dairy farmers! By forcing the prices down to below what is sustainable. So really, shopping in supermarkets at all is anti-fair trade.

And how is it that these supermarkets make millions in profict for their shareholders by selling milk (for example) bought at knockdown prices from farmers while we the tax payer fund the government agricultural subsidies..which end up making profits for the fat cat supermarket owners?

I am really interested in the whole fairtrade principle, and using FT baking products, but is it a bit like the 'greenwash' principle?

LineRunner Tue 25-Sep-12 13:35:06

<Agrees with Blu>

Cinnamonkey Tue 25-Sep-12 13:37:15

I buy fairtrade bananas and sugar. I don't buy fairtrade tea because DH only likes one kind of tea so that's what we get. I don't drink coffee, so just get what's on offer because it's expensive.

It comes down to 2 main factors for me. Price and brand. I only buy brands I recognise or store own label. Sainsburys sell fairtrade sugar, so I buy that. If I was buying coffee I'd buy fairtrade if I recognised the brand and the price was comparable, so it would need to be on a similar offer.

GOLDdebka Tue 25-Sep-12 14:23:09

I like the fact that a lot of Sainsbury's produce is fairtrade, I shop there.

Like many others have said, it's the price that prevents me from buying more. If it's a little bit more expensive, I would pay, but if it's a lot more I wouldn't, I'm ashamed to say.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now