World Fair Trade Day: Let’s meet Fair Do’s

This World Fair Trade Day (May 9) we focus on the World Fair Trade Organisation’s (WFTO) vision of  “Planet Fair Trade: Enterprises for the new economy” and talk to Jan Tucker from Fair Do’s in Cardiff, a shop in the heart of the community in Canton.

Fair Do’s moved to its current location in 1998 and is committed to sustainable relationships with producer groups. They’re proud members of local Fair Trade organisations and aim to minimise their environmental impact and provide a first class, personal service to their customers.

What made you choose to become a Fairtrade shop? 

“I became involved in Fair Trade in 1979 as one of Traidcraft’s first reps – number 008!  When I moved to Cardiff, I worked as Traidcraft’s regional stockist for South Wales, when this scheme closed a decision had to be made – should I look for a job doing something else? or should we consider opening a shop?

The group of brilliant volunteers who worked with me were really encouraging about the idea of opening a shop, so it happened! It seemed the next natural step – to be a (not quite  ‘high street’) presence where a Fair Trade shop would be noticed”.

Why set up in Wales? 

“Cardiff is where I was, and it followed on naturally from having a regional stockbase in the capital city. We became very involved in the campaign for Cardiff to become the world’s first fair trade capital city. This was followed by close involvement in Wales becoming the world’s first fair trade nation. The shop and the campaigning worked well together. We are really proud to live and work in a Fair Trade Nation!”.

What difference do you think you make to your local community? 

“We make it easy for people in our area to access a wide range of Fair Trade products; have a big focus on awareness raising and a couple of months ago worked with four libraries in Cardiff West to promote fair trade with displays and coffee mornings.

We run stalls at community events, provide volunteering opportunities for all ages, offer a sale or return service for churches, community groups and schools to run Fair Trade stalls. We also run schools projects in South East Wales and have small groups of pupils visit the shop for an interactive educational session, and we go into schools to take an assembly or workshop”.

How and why would you encourage other businesses to get into Fair Trade? 

“I think Fair Trade needs a bigger profile in our towns and villages, and a Fair Trade shop raises the profile, as well as providing a focus for Fair Trade campaigning. We have been a member of BAFTS (British Association for Fair Trade Shops and Suppliers) for many years. It is a good supportive network, and would be worth contacting if anyone is interested in setting up a Fair Trade shop. BAFTS is also a member of the World Fair Trade Organisation so it connects Fair Trade shops in the UK with the worldwide Fair Trade ‘family’”.

What is your hope for Fair Trade in the future, based on the message “Planet Fair Trade is populated by Fair Trade Enterprises whose priority mission is people and planet. They are creating an economy based on human and planetary well-being, a world where no one is left behind”?

“I hope that the link between Fair Trade and climate change will be strengthened, showing that social justice and environmental justice are interlinked. In Wales we have a government supported climate coffee project, which is importing coffee directly from Fairtrade coffee growing co-operatives in Uganda to Wales.

The project will also include opportunities for people in Wales to learn more about the link between coffee farming and climate change, and enable people here to buy the coffee, helping to support 3,000 coffee farmers in Uganda”.

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