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Buying FairTrade v Local

(17 Posts)
TheodoresMummy Sat 18-Aug-07 22:59:47

I buy FairTrade products where I can (actually, more like where I see them ), but am going to make a big change shortly to ensure that I shop far more ethically.

Things like coffee, sugar, chocolate, etc are obviously best bought FairTrade - simple.

But what about when it comes to food ?

I think it is important to support local producers, but is supporting FairTrade even more important ?

expatinscotland Sat 18-Aug-07 23:00:27

I go local where possible, but things like sugar and coffee aren't likely to be locally produced, in which case we go FairTrade.

expatinscotland Sat 18-Aug-07 23:01:02

For me, when it comes to food, it's a matter of supporting British farmers.

I feel this is vital to them, to us and to the nation's future.

TheodoresMummy Mon 20-Aug-07 08:37:42

I hear you expat and I agree.

But I suppose I feel that maybe we should be even more supportive of developing countries.

Furball Mon 20-Aug-07 08:45:15

I'm with expatinscotland. We need to support our own first, then buy fairtrade second. What I don't understand is why is fairtrade not applicable to our farmers? Why do they have to struggle to produce a pint of milk at profit?

lulu25 Mon 20-Aug-07 08:51:29

i was just about to post something similar, but somehow accidentally deleted it - if the supermarkets were being truly ethical, the fairtrade concept would be extended to eg UK dairy farmers.

but i don't think we are often ABLE to "support our own first, then buy fairtrade second", because fairtrade goods tend to be things that don't grow in the UK (bananas, tea, coffee, chocolate). actually i can't think of an example where you would have a choice between a domestic product and a fairtrade version of the same thing.

i generally buy local non-organic produce over imported organic stuff though

(i say generally - i buy Rachel's organic dairy products and i think they come from wales - what's our definition of local?)

Roseylea Mon 20-Aug-07 08:54:37

It depends on whether you want to eat things like bananas and pineapples, or whether you want to only eat fruits and veg produced locally.

If you eat bananas etc (we eat thousands) then def. go FT - in fact all of Waitrose's and Sainsburys' bananas are now FT.

I've wondered the same thing aboutr British farming - the range of FT products is growing exponentially and it may well be that things like meat and milk will be given the FT foundation mark. It'd mean better animal welfare as well as a better deal for the farmers, and better for the environment (as FT farmers are committed to improving their local environments) and input money into local community projects too...it's all good stuff that the extra few pence go towards. I see no reason why British farmers shouldn't have all those guarantees.

lulu25 Mon 20-Aug-07 08:54:48

(sorry that sounded really south-east-centric - should have qualified "i think they come from wales" with "and i'm just outside london so i'm sure there are closer dairy producers")

Roseylea Mon 20-Aug-07 08:59:13

My cynical position is that of course supermarkets aren't ethical - they are profit-driven and they see FT as a new and fast-expanding market which they want to corner, thus pushing out companies like Traidcraft that have been selling FT foods and gifts for years and have nothing like the advertising power or buying power of supermarkets.

I wuoldn't condemn anyone for buing, say, Asda FT coffee, though - it's a complicated business buying ethically, and we all just do the best that we can. I have to compromise on my principles a bit otherwise we'd be bankrupt.

Highlander Mon 20-Aug-07 15:25:03

Although the actual product is 'Fairtrade', the unpacking/repacjking labour used at the docks/warehouses is apparently anything but fair

I've found that a lot of the local produce in shops around us is of v. poor quality. It gets me down traipsing out with the kids in tow looking for a bit of broccoli then having to buy it from the supermarket anyway.

Isababel Mon 20-Aug-07 15:27:04

I always wonder about supporting local producers... problem is, many things I use regularly are not produced ANYWHERE near here. There are farmers markets (that I use very often) but they are bringing the staff from far places too and I doubt the things they are in offer are Fair Trade.

Isababel Mon 20-Aug-07 15:28:04

the staff?? the stuff I mean (if that's the correct way to write the word!)

TheodoresMummy Mon 20-Aug-07 18:51:24

True that most of the FairTrade and locally produced goods will not cross over.

Am quite shocked at - 'Although the actual product is 'Fairtrade', the unpacking/repacjking labour used at the docks/warehouses is apparently anything but fair' !!!

Hadn't occured to me that this could be the case !!

suedonim Mon 20-Aug-07 20:05:22

You can now buy FairTrade strawberry jam, produced in the UK. I think it indicates that the sugar used to make the jam is fairly traded but don't quote me!

Isababel Mon 20-Aug-07 21:10:06

That is very true.

Roseylea Tue 21-Aug-07 07:53:27

THere are some products (sorry, I can't remember atm - I'd have to go and look it up!) which are processed nad packed in their country of origin (tea produced and packed in India for eg). So these have got the best Fair Trade credentials as they open up lots more opportunities for employment.

I'll try and post a link later!

RubberDuck Tue 21-Aug-07 08:17:20

Yeah, I went to our local farm shop when we first moved here and most of the veg was manky... and the apples had "South Africa" stickers on them .

It gets to the point where you just trust nobody...

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