Another enjoyable and successful Fairtrade Fortnight! Thank you to everyone who got involved with this year’s Celebrations, from schools to community groups, and Members of the Senedd. Here is a snapshot of some of the exciting events run in Wales to promote Fairtrade this year.
Food glorious food
Our theme this year was… FOOD! Food is at the very heart of Fairtrade, intersecting with climate change, gender empowerment, and improved livelihoods. But above all else, food acts as a connector and uniting force between individuals and communities from a whole host of backgrounds – food and sharing food is a universal language. This was the focus of our flagship event ‘Community Connections Supper Club’, hosted in partnership with Oasis Cardiff where we had the opportunity to connect over a delicious Fairtrade vegan supper.
The supper was followed by Jenipher (from Jenipher’s Coffi) in conversation with Splodown, a Cardiff based food cooperative. Jenipher shared her story as a certified Fairtrade Ugandan coffee farmer, and the challenge of balancing her work with being a mother. We then heard from Alis and Matt from The Plate at Oasis Cardiff. Alis (The Plate Catering Manager) shared his journey of moving to Wales from Honduras, the ways in which Oasis Cardiff has supported him and some of the key Fairtrade products Honduras exports. All attendees enjoyed communing over food and conversation, an activity so simple that we have missed because of Covid-19.
Senedd Members say yes to Fairtrade
We also had a successful engagement day at the Senedd interacting with Members of the Senedd on all things Fairtrade, and the importance of including ‘global responsibility’ in the Social Partnership and Public Procurement Bill. It seemed the members also enjoyed tasting some delicious Tony’s Chocoloney too! .
Talking up Fairtrade
Our very own Kadun from the Fair Trade Wales team, also spoke live on Prynhawn Da on S4C about all things Fairtrade, highlighting Wales’ journey as the world’s first Fair Trade Nation and where we are today.
Minister for Social Justice visit to Cardiff Met
To celebrate Cardiff Metropolitan Universities achievement coming 1st in the People & Planet awards, and to highlight their commitment to Fairtrade, we visited the university with the Minister, Jane Hutt. What better way to celebrate than with a chocolate tasting quiz and Fairtrade prizes for the students who won.
Did you know you can find Fairtrade products around the campus, and that even the university hoodies use Fairtrade cotton?
Change can occur from all levels and all people. It has been incredible to see the engagement from youth in Wales during Fairtrade Fortnight and witness the passion they have towards realising a brighter future for all. The Blaenau Gwent Great Welsh Cake Off, held on St David’s day, was a resounding success as local youth engaged with Fairtrade products to compete in making the best Welsh Cakes, a national treasure of Welsh food.
The Vale of Glamorgan Fairtrade Youth Competition received 150 entries of artwork, poems and messages displaying how Fairtrade supports communities in building a sustainable future for farming some of our favourite foods. You can see the entries on display in the Dinas Powys Library until 1 April.
In Swansea, a Fairtrade tote bag decorating workshop was held at the university. Welcoming students and staff alike to engage with Fairtrade through embellishing tote bags with their own designs.
Fair Trade Ways Wales Walk
Fair Trade Ways Wales kicked off Fairtrade Fortnight with a walk from Llandelio to Dryslywn. Joined by members of the Co-op, school children from 4 schools and people from the wider community, the walk provided an opportunity to spark conversation on all things Fairtrade and the future of food. The walks are a part of a series of 20, celebrating 20 years since Ammanford became Wales’ 1st Fair Trade Town.
Several groups held Fair Trade coffee mornings, showcasing Fairtrade tea, coffee, sugar and cakes. Coffee mornings were held in Dinas Powys, Bangor, Barry, Swansea, Ammanford, Abergavenny, Newcastle Emlyn and Abergele to name but a few. Newcastle Emlyn did a twist on the traditional coffee morning with their ‘No Coffee, No Coffee morning’ event, highlighting the importance of addressing climate change to safeguard some of our favourite foods grown in the Global South, which are becoming increasingly harder to grow in the face of Climate Change, endangering their very future as products. Fairtrade premiums, allow and encourage farmers to build resilience into their farming practices.
Going bananas for Fairtrade
It’s fantastic to see some of the exciting ways that our groups choose to celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight. Newcastle Emlyn have created a tradition of ending Fortnight at Aberporth Beach to do something different in highlighting the issues of climate change threatening farmers and workers who are on the frontline. The Save Our Bananas swim at the chilly beach showcased how advocating for world issues doesn’t have to be serious and can be done whilst laughing and connecting with like minded individuals motivated by a shared vision of the future.
Fair Trade in Football
Whilst food is at the centre of the Fairtrade mission, Fairtrade also goes much beyond that as showcased by Kilgetty AFC in their match against Milford Athletic. Kilgetty women’s team also came away with a win (3-1), and they managed to shared a Fairtrade Football with Milford Athletic, promoting the integration of Fairtrade into sport. As we know from the recent World Cup, football is not always fair for workers. The Fair Trade in Football Campaign highlights the inequalities within the rubber industry and is highlighting this one game at a time. Through a commitment to using Fairtrade footballs, Kilgetty AFC is leading the way in the future of football.
This is just a snapshot of some activities held in Wales during Fairtrade Fortnight 2023 and there were lots more exciting events held. Check out our Twitter to see what happened locally to you.
Thank you to everyone who got involved with this year’s Fairtrade Fortnight, it has been great to see so many in person events, and to connect with so many people over the heart of the Fairtrade itself – food!
This Summer Wales will be celebrating its 15 year anniversary since becoming the world’s first Fair Trade Nation! Watch this space to see what Fair Trade events you can get involved with, we look forward to all of the support.