It’s been almost a year since I met Elen, the national co-ordinator for Fair Trade Wales when the national Eisteddfod visited my local area. I strolled into their tent one afternoon that sunny week and leaped at the offer of Fairtrade Peruvian coffee. We started chatting about Fairtrade, particularly footballs as I was heading out a few weeks later to Pakistan where over half of the worlds sporting goods are made.
Who’d have thought that today I sit in the office with her? Having started as an intern back in February, I soon became part of the team and part of this fantastic organisation working to promote Fairtrade here in the world’s first Fair Trade nation. I’m very proud to be Welsh: very proud of Wales’ work in securing a better future for the next generation: very proud to be playing a part in it.
I’ve recently seen first hand the impact that Fairtrade has on the farmers and workers whom are incredibly important within the chain of people that stand between the source and the store. I spent the month of May in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania visiting various Fairtrade organisations: from coffee co-ops high in the Rwanzi Mountains of Western Uganda to gold mines deep below the rusty earth of Tanzania.
I write as an introduction, first to let you know who I am and secondly to let you know that over the course of the next few weeks I’ll be sharing glimpses of what I saw on my way. My name is Ffion; I’m 23 and a farmer’s daughter born in the heart of Wales. I have the power to make change, and so do you. Fairtrade is so much more than a sticker on a banana or a label on a jar of coffee. The mark is the cover to a book of stories, and I’d like you to read some of those from my recent visit and see how the decisions you make in the supermarket have the power to see change far from those shelves.