Fair Share
Published:  29 June, 2009

Speaking to a butcher recently, there was one organised social movement he wasn't a big fan of to say the least - Fairtrade.

I didn't really press him on why he wasn't a big supporter. Maybe it was because he felt it was replacing one flawed pricing structure with another, or maybe he felt there was too much focus on individual small producer groups, while stopping short of advocating immediate trade policy changes that would help a greater number of people.

Or maybe he just wanted people to buy British. Whatever the reason, I told him, at the end of my visit, not to get too angry with me when he saw a double-page spread on Fairtrade products in Extra, which I had been planning to do way before I spoke to him.

When people are saving as much as money as they can with their food bills, some will jump to say Fairtrade will take a hit in a recession. But a recent survey showed that 82% of British consumers could recognise and name the Fairtrade trademark.

Three-quarters of world consumers canvassed also said that companies should actively support communities in developing countries. Whatever your take is, many small British firms are promoting these products - and they could prove an extra sideline for you, too.


Adam Baker