Thrilled to be working alongside NOT1BEAN TM as their Fair Trade partner and I would like to share my thoughts on why I believe it complements the work we are both doing.
Supporting women’s empowerment is important to me and as a WFTO Guaranteed Fair Trade member I believe we have the basis for effecting real change in the coffee growing communities worldwide, through this partnership.By aligning our business practice, through SDG17, it binds the other goals together, finance, capacity building, technology, systemic issues, and trade – a great combination for Not1Bean and Fair Trade Scotland, working towards Agenda 2030.
The Agenda is a commitment to eradicate poverty and achieve sustainable development by 2030 worldwide, ensuring that no one is left behind. The adoption of the 2030 Agenda was a landmark achievement, providing for a shared global vision towards sustainable development for all.So a quick precise of my 35 years Fair Trade journey and where it all began – at school!
I was fortunate to have been brought up in the East End of London in the early fifties, in an area undergoing major social change. The transition to a multi-cultural community was both challenging and exciting as I benefitted from a quality of teaching that was second to none, having passed an 11+ exam and getting a place at the local grammar school.
Whilst adults around us were frightened and angry at the diversity of cultures who were ‘taking over’, we were taught to embrace and value these differences.
It came as no surprise that Fair Trade fitted naturally with me and the next stage of my journey began, as a young mother of 4 children, in 1986 when I heard about the Baby Milk Action Campaign against Nestle.
I then decided it was time to become an ‘educated consumer’ and within weeks found myself signing up to become a Traidcraft Fair Trader and drinking copious amounts of Campaign Coffee.
As a grassroots activist I am passionate about ensuring the voice of producers are heard through telling stories that reflect the struggles they experience due to unfair trading restrictions that are centuries old!
Once my family had grown up, I opened a Fair Trade shop, but after 3 years trading we had to close as it was not a sustainable business, as we could not compete with supermarkets on price, even though we had 140 different Fairtrade Certified products on our shelves!
We then decided we would become importers and that is another story for another post! I am currently Managing Director of Fair Trade Scotland which is Scotland’s only World Fair Trade Organisation’s Guaranteed Fair Trade Importer Member, along with my husband and a long term friend. You can read more about WFTO by visiting their website www.wfto.com.
So who is Fair Trade Scotland? Well it is a big name but a very small company – as Schumacher said ‘Small is Beautiful’, but yet again until we met Not1Bean we were struggling to get the message across to consumers that Fair Trade really does make a difference. Fair Trade Scotland is a Social Business - operating in the private sector - because we believe that for too long Fair Trade has been seen a ‘charitable act’. We are a company limited by guarantee, with no charitable status and no shareholders. We have the Charter of Fair Trade and the 10 WFTO principles written into our constitution. We originally set up the business in 2006 to import Fairtrade certified sugar, processed in Malawi, direct into Greenock, Scotland. I hope that you find this space useful and please feel free to ask any questions you may have about Fair Trade. The two systems below are the only two systems that are audited against Fair Trade Principles. The WFTO Guarantee System and the product certification mark are two different but complimentary routes that allow the use of the term Fair Trade. The WFTO Guarantee System is a management tool for companies that adhere to the 10 WFTO principles. The product certification mark is the well-known FAIRTRADE Mark given to Commercial Licensees to put on their products.