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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!

antontest Tue 25-Sep-12 14:24:08


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antontest Tue 25-Sep-12 14:25:36



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GOLDdebka Tue 25-Sep-12 14:31:50


I agree with what many others have said in that cost can be a barrier to encouraging more people to buy fair trade. I also think that in many ways Organic produce has won the battle for the customer who doesn't mind paying extra for ethical produce.

Fair trade has, to me, an image problem. In the UK in recent years we have become very insular as a nation, as the recession bites a lot of people are calling for things like foreign aid to be cut. When we can't even get consumers to get behind the call for fair prices for uk dairy farmers it's going to be a huge battle to get them to care about coffee harvesters in Peru. Organic produce is suffering but people who are willing to buy more expensive items have bought into the idea that the taste is better and it's healthier, often with little evidence to support this. I think this is largely because celebrity chefs and newspaper food columns have completely bought into the message that it is better to consume less of an organic, ethically reared meat than to buy cheap meat to eat daily.

If Fair Trade goods are ever going to be the premium consumers first choice then I really feel that it needs a profile boost . I'm think something along the lines of the C4 food fight which focused on over fishing, or the programme where chefs talked about their favourite british ingredients. Hairy Bikes visiting coffee growers in Guatemala anyone? smile The difference fair trade makes to the lives of the growers needs to be made real. I never bought fair trade until I visited a banana plantation in St. Lucia and got to speak to the workers. It just didn't mean anything to me before that. I now buy fairtrade wherever there is an option.

I am getting involved in the Big Fair Bake by doing a little cake sale at the community centre which is linked to the OAP complex my dad lives in. It's under threat of closure from being under used so the proceeds will go to the centres campaign.

Hopezibah Tue 25-Sep-12 15:20:27

I think a lot of it does come down to the price difference (although in some cases there is not that much difference considering everything e.g. I have bulk bought Divine chocolate and it is SOOO scrummy and bought in bulk works out pretty comparable to non-fair trade brands).

I would LOVE there to be a far bigger push to 'force' consumers into buying fair trade because I honestly think most people agree with the principles of fair trade but it is the price that deters them. Yet in a supermarket where the only bananas stocked are fairtrade, I can't see anyone would be too upset to buy them.

I know I wuold buy more fair trade if it became the only or main choice available. When the kids are chosing chocolates or easter eggs, I also make a point of saying out very loudly in the supermarket that it is best to get the one with the fair trade logo so hopefully it will become ingrained in their shopping habits and might get others to pause for thought too.

But obviously most organisations are demand led and wouldn't bother to push this if there is no economic reason for them to benefit so having your own ethics is important too - I remember being mega impressed with a friend of mine when I offered her a cup of coffee, she asked whether it was fairtrade before accepting. Since then I have become even more conscious of the importance of buying fair trade not only because of the difference it makes in the world, but because I also care what my friends think and I respect their ethics and principles too.

cleanandclothed Tue 25-Sep-12 15:54:08

I buy fairtrade bananas, and chocolate. If I see other fairtrade products (sugar etc) then I would pay around a 5% premium over the cheapest alternative to buy the fairtrade product, but no more.

bluecarrot Tue 25-Sep-12 16:27:26

I buy fairtrade as much as possible - food, clothing, gifts etc- and happily forgo some "luxury" items in order to afford them (Im technically on poverty line). Our food and clothes are stupidly cheap when you take into account all the externalities. I witnessed first hand a fairtrade coop in Central America and heard how things had changed for them and their families once they were contracted by a big company who paid fair. This made me even more determined!

Whst would make me use it more? More big brands being forced to play fair rather than squeezing the little guy. Why shouldnt we expect everyone (in the UK as well as abroad) to be treated fairly? My last two workplaces went fairtrade for their tea and coffee after I started a petition (98% of staff signed it, 92% said they would contribute financially to the excess in cost but both workplaces absorbed the excess then boasted about their ethical standards on their website!)

Who Id bake for? My dds school and the kids I look after. Great opportunity to tell them what fair trade means.

PetiteRaleuse Tue 25-Sep-12 16:27:39

I don't buy fairtrade products in supermarkets here in France. What little there is is just too expensive. I do, however, buy local fruit, veg, meat and dairy where I can. It tastes better.

RaahhisOrangeandGold Tue 25-Sep-12 16:59:55

my Dcs school are very involved with fairtrade,(the yr1 teacher regularly hosts coffee afternoons to promote it)and have a fairtrade council. DD, who has just turned 6, takes this position very seriouslygrin. She now understands and appreciates how much better off we are in this country- and that it is better for people to e given the opportunity to help themselves She is the one who prefers us to shop at the Co-op, and loves going to the marks and spencer cafe, as they use fair trade products, and sprinkle the symbol on the top of my cappuccino in chocolate easily pleased I always buy my tea from there, and don't find it it very much more expensive than other brands I would buy.

I don't bake often, because I am not very good at itgrin, but do provide fair trade items for the coffee afternoons.

telsa Tue 25-Sep-12 17:10:55

I buy Fairtrade if the product is just what I want, but I don't seek it out especially because it won't bring about the differences I want to see - I was very persuaded by an article in an Marxist academic journal, which argued the following:'while fair trade can provide a symbolic challenge to commodity fetishism, in the end this challenge is strictly limited by the power of global market imperatives and the network’s market-driven approach.'
PDF here for anyone interested:
[[ ]]

ContinentalKat Tue 25-Sep-12 17:20:30

I am ashamed to say that I don't think about fair trade when I go shopping.
I quickly scanned the cupboard and it seems that I "accidentally" buy fair trade bananas, sugar and tea because I shop in Sainsbury's.

To be brutally honest, it is one more thing that I can't be asked to think about when going shopping. I like the idea of not having a choice, like with Sainsburys bananas.

nextphase Tue 25-Sep-12 17:57:23

It sounds like a good idea to have a fair bake, however the week started yesterday, and this is the first I've heard of it, so it hasn't been well advertised round here (I'm not on facebook).

We have some fairtrade choc - cadburys dairymilk is fair trade, but not the bournville??? DH eats fairtrade dark chocolate.
Sugar is fairtrade or British.
Cocoa is fairtrade.
We don't get through much tea, DH will only buy one brand tho, so unless that changes to fairtrade. No coffee in the house apart from guests, so i buy whoever will sell me the smallest jar.

to be fair, I don't usually look for the fairtrade sign, unless it comes to a toss uip between 2 similar priced items, when the fairtrade would win me over.

OhNoMyFoot Tue 25-Sep-12 18:15:05

I have to buy what I can afford not what I would choose without having to consider price. If fair trade is the same or cheaper then I do opt for it. I feel bad because I know that by choosing nonfairtrade items that are cheap it's probably because they aren't getting a fair price. But I really don't have a choice all I can do is keep looking.

crackcrackcrak Tue 25-Sep-12 18:15:50

I'm skeptical about fair trade. For example pg tips claim to be fair trade or rainforest friendly or something and yet ethical consumer rate them the least ethical
Tea. Also as I understand it the difference in pay for fair trade products is v minimal - not that I don't think that matters because it does.
I boycott nestle and a few other companies though

Jux Tue 25-Sep-12 18:35:27

We buy Fairtrade coffee, bananas and cooking chocolate.

We don't get a lot of choice in our small town, to be honest, so I don't really seek it out (just saw on this thread that you can get Fairtrade clothes - who knew!) but if it's there then I often choose it over other brands, just to see. If no one complains then I'll probably continue to buy it, but if they do then I'm afraid I'll go back to whatever I usually get.

I'm not sure I could do any baking with FT ingredients. I haven't seen FT butter, sugar or flour in our local shops; though I expect we could get them from Tesco, we never go there any more.

ZigZagWanderer Tue 25-Sep-12 18:53:43

I try to by free range and Fair Trade when my food budget allows me to, but it's not always possible because it is more expensive.
I agree all food manufacturers should support Fair Trade.

Twonker Tue 25-Sep-12 19:31:44

My children love it when I buy fair trade. I do when I am in the co-op. I buy fair trade sugar, coffee and chocolate. However, most fair trade products are snacks, and I buy few snack foods.i shop in the market, the fuit and veg wholesaler and aldi or lidl. I choose wine based on price and air miles, and don't drink much anyway. They are going to knock down our local co-op soon and build a big Asda instead, soi doubt I'll be buying so much fair trade stuff. The co-op is specially good as they have fair trade offers, and reduce the price on all fair trade products.
Get fair trade things into aldi!

ScienceRocks Tue 25-Sep-12 19:36:17

I buy fairtrade coffee, chocolate, vanilla extract, cocoa, tea, sugar and bananas (can't think of anything else), and it is great to see the supermarkets bringing the prices in line and so many major manufacturers moving to Fairtrade. I am lucky to be able to afford to do so, but I do think it is important (I am in the UK but from an ethnic minority background, so it feels quite close to home). I bake quite a bit.

There needs to be more education around food, so people can make informed choices about fairtrade, organic, provenance etc. Others on this thread are right in that sometimes you face difficult choices and simply don't know which way to go - in which case, price usually prevails.

GW297 Tue 25-Sep-12 19:44:09

I buy fairtrade whenever possible: chocolate, cereal bars, bananas, roses, tissues etc. I don't mind paying a little extra for fairtrade products. At my previous school the year six children sold fairtrade chocolate at breaktime every Friday and I always read my class the Charlie and Lola story about fairtrade!

SeventhEverything Tue 25-Sep-12 19:45:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

choccyp1g Tue 25-Sep-12 19:53:33

I buy Fairtrade coffee, because it does one of the few proper ground coffees which is decaffeinated. I also get Fairtrade bananas, according to Sainsbury "all our bananas are Fairtrade" Eggs I get organic, but have never noticed Fairtrade eggs.

In theory I'd like to get everything FairTrade, but in practise it is generally more expensive, and I'm not about to go trailing round dozens of shops. If it's not in Sains or Oxfam then I'm not getting it.

TheCunningStunt Tue 25-Sep-12 20:12:38

We tend to buy fairtrade if we find it on offer. Like a lot of people the price can be off putting on this climate. I do buy choc, hot choc and bananas though, but we usually get good prices on these. If fairtrade become more common, more demand, prices would be better...(my economics is rubbish and I may be off) but if prices were better, I wouldn't in general, buy more.

forcookssake Tue 25-Sep-12 20:20:24

I routinely buy f-t tea, coffee, bananas and chocolate. Debated stood in the wine aisle today whether I'd pay the extra £2 for my bottle of red... I didn't as the regular wine was on offer at £4 so f-t meant +50% on purchase price confused

But generally YES, I do buy fairtrade.

livealoha Tue 25-Sep-12 20:25:31

I buy fair trade coffee, tea, sugar, bananas and chocolate too.

CheeryCherry Tue 25-Sep-12 20:27:36

I think that most people equate true Fairtrade products with 'expensive' as when it was an up and coming scheme, the products did tend to be a lot dearer than non fairtrade. I think that concept is hard to remove. I wonder if a campaign could be to do price comparisons, to show how little the difference is, therefore worth that tiny bit more. I buy fairtrade when its on offer, but nothing regularly, much to my shame. Maybe highlight the differences in price, then the huge difference fairtrade makes?

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