Behind your cuppa, people are facing discrimination, low wages and poor working conditions Ffion reflects on her experience of meeting Dorothy, a Fairtrade tea farmer in Kenya, and talks of how our choices, no matter how small are having a big impact on communities across the world…
From my farm to hers was a trip of around 6000 miles. I grew up on a small farm in the hills of Montgomeryshire; Dorothy is a smallholder tea farmer in western Kenya. We met last year when I travelled to East Africa to visit people producing Fairtrade tea, coffee, gold and flowers.
Life can be tough for women in rural Kenya, where a lack of land rights and gender stereotypes work against them. Despite this, Dorothy had an infectious laugh and a sense of optimism. Through the support of Fairtrade she has been able to buy some land for the first time, providing a secure future for herself and her family.
Fairtrade offers an opportunity for Dorothy to earn a guaranteed fair price for her tea, but that’s not all. Fairtrade certification also helps small farmers gain access to international markets, get training and support on issues such as gender equality and good farming practices. Fairtrade also provides an extra premium, which she (and members of her co-operative) can choose how to invest to improve their businesses and communities.
Sometimes it feels like the world’s injustices are too big to solve; there is little you feel you can do about them. But as a consumer, you have the power to make change. The pounds and pennies in your pocket are just like votes for a fairer, more equal world. Through buying items that carry the Fairtrade mark, you can make a difference to people’s lives. People like Dorothy.
The people of Wales sure love a cup of tea, and imagine the value of making all those brews we enjoy Fairtrade! However you make your cuppa, make sure it’s Fairtrade.
Find out where you can buy here.