Fair Trade Fast

Lent begins tomorrow, and I have set myself (and my unwitting family) a challenge. I endeavour to eat only Fair Trade products or (as the list of Fair Trade products readily available is far from comprehensive) locally sourced food (i.e. produced within the British Isles). This has already created some difficulties, and given rise to many debates around the dinner table as we examine each label and packet to discover how far it has travelled.

The aim is to start thinking, buying and eating more ethically. We are spoilt for choice here in Britain, with fresh fruit flown in from across the globe to allow us to be able to enjoy exotic treats all year round. So much so, that it is becoming increasingly difficult to buy British. Local food is fresher, hasn’t travelled so far, and most importantly buying such products helps to support British farmers and local businesses.

Buying Fair Trade is also important, guaranteeing a premium price for farmers in the developing world, ensuring a steady income and helping them to build up their communities and offering them hope for the future. It may still have to travel across the globe to reach our supermarket shelves, but the Fairtrade Foundation commits to environmentally responsible practises as well as offering the producers a fair wage.

It will be an interesting experiment and I’m sure there will be frustrations along the way, but I think it is easily achievable, and doing so will highlight some of the interesting paths our food takes before it reaches the supermarket shelves. I will keep you updated on my progress, and if you feel inspired by my challenge, here are some useful Fair Trade recipes, or even a Carbon Fast you can join in with. For now, I’m off to make some pancakes, having come across these Divine dishes, my mouth is watering already!

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