The Fairtrade Fair took place in the Quad on Monday 25th February, between 11-4pm.
An uplifting and positive vibe flowed as the warm sun compliments the event, beaming through the glass ceiling above.
The Fairtrade festival emphasises equal and responsible commerce with developing countries. Campaigning for living incomes to be standardised, with a powerful virtual reality exhibit to show people in an interactive way the struggles and effects that refugees and migrants are exposed to.
Multiple stalls are set up around the quad – one in particular that caught my eye was Barnet Mencap. Specialising in providing support for children and adults with learning disabilities as well as advice, information and providing a range of services. Next to them was a faith section from Christian Aid. Providing an engaging and practical Escape the vault challenge which highlighted the wrong-doings of banks and large corporations in developing countries. An important education activity showing the neglect and misconduct that occurs and ways that Fair Trade standards improve these negative impacts.
Christian Aid also show a ‘Rise Up’ section, against funding climate change with petitions. Signed to bring awareness and increase public knowledge with issues such as financing new coal power plants in developing countries
The MDX OneVoice Choir Performance was filled with passion, energy and team spirit. Speaking to Jo Williamson who organised the group, about how she was glad to see the impact and strength that group togetherness could bring to raising awareness. ‘I will survive’ plays in the background and reiterates the importance of supporting those more vulnerable, especially the struggles for female farmers in the cocoa industry and across the world. Expressed through song and motion this performance was exceptional in highlighting the campaign in a captivating singalong #FemaleEmpowerment.
Fairtrade Kit Kats by Nestle were also on offer. The cocoa plan is a programme that ensures farmers are treated fairly and not exploited in supplying their cocoa. Improving its corporate social responsibility has become more mainstream with an increased public interest. Attention to this accountability is reassuring to see and workers are provided with more rights as well as attention towards their health through this plan.
The festival was great to see in action. Major attention placed on the importance of sustainable products and the significance that these have in consumer goods was obvious.
Improving public education through integrating this at University allows for students, staff and members of the public to get involved. Talking to people running stalls, trying vegan/Fairtrade products and practical activities to learn hands-on about issues with corporations and neglect that can be passed down to the suppliers of products.
Marc Chowdhury, Second Year Criminology with Psychology Student
A good organisation, that provides justice and support for farmers, manufacturers and improved working conditions within developing countries. Helping with their health benefits and ensuring poverty is not so prevalent whilst attempting to extinguish the exploitation of cheap labour, providing a better and more sturdy income for those in the trade. I think it’s great they provide empowerment and try to support women’s needs and requirements in the trade. Helping to standardise pay rates and encourage ethical commerce. Finally, it’s a perfect way to raise awareness and a healthy method in educating students, staff and members of the public in the significance that Fairtrade helps regulate and protect.
Berta Abrahams, National Sales Manager for Pravera (Organic lifestyle products)
Q) What is the importance of sustainable vegan products?
A) Firstly, being the 1st Fairtrade skincare company in Europe, this is a landmark achievement and shows the progression sustainable products have made. Our shower gels are made from coconuts sugars to provide the foam without the need for Sodium Sulphate (known carcinogen). Giving back to suppliers and ensuring fair dealings occur. Contributing to making a change and providing a fairer, more eco-friendly and sustainable future.
Q) Are there health benefits to using these products?
A) Here try some of our moisturising cream! (offers me a sample). Unlike other products that can actually dry your skin out, these rehydrate and are fully natural products. No alcohol or silicon in the products and with no chance of harm or irritation occurring. We have a range of products and lovely smelling natural essential oils as ingredients. Even a range of natural and sustainable Fairtrade latex male and female contraception. Reinforcing on empowerment for both the suppliers getting a good deal and for the consumers to have empowerment in using contraception #Female Empowerment.