How far would you go for Fair Trade?

Last week the Fairtrade Foundation celebrated a successful campaign to get one million and one swaps to Fair Trade products.

Fairtrade fortnight also highlighted the moves made by several organisations to take the fair trade movement into conflict-ridden countries. Tropical Wholefoods have partnered with Mercy Corps working in Afghanistan to source Fairtrade raisins from the Shomali plains north of Kabul. The project has delighted locals who used to thrive on exporting raisins, but has also met with several obstacles, notably the difficulty of certifying the raisins, as the area is deemed too dangerous to visit by fair trade labelling organisations.

The hope is that by rebuilding trade links, the producers can generate a reliable income that can be put towards rebuilding the community in war-torn Afghanistan. Adam Brett, the pioneer behind the project remains hopeful: “Trade is re-establishing itself there, but people are incredibly distrustful of each other, but at the same time they really want to do something positive to improve their lives.”

Similar projects have seen success in other conflict zones around the world, including coffee sourced from the Congo and olive oil from Palestine. Despite the seemingly endless obstacles, these pioneers of fair trade see potential in these populations, and are determined to help restore some social stability.

Published in: on March 15, 2010 at 1:09 pm  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. This is so important! Thanks for keeping us up-to-date. This sort of thing really gives me hope for the future. Good business!

  2. thumbs up on this post. I am linked on Facebook with both the olives co-op and the women of Afghanistan with their Fair Trade products. People need to support these programs as well.

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