Fairtrade Fortnight is an annual promotional campaign which happens once every year, organized and funded by the Fairtrade Foundation to increase awareness of Fairtrade products. It makes use of volunteers who support the goals of Fairtrade but who may also be committed to the more general concepts of fair trade, ethical trading or concerned by development issues. The concept was pioneered by the Fairtrade Foundation in the United Kingdom, initially held in 1997 in Scotland and directed by Barnaby Miln.
The inaugural national launch was on 12 February 1997 at Augustine United Church on Edinburgh's George IV Bridge by Lady Marion Fraser, chairman of the charity Christian Aid. She broke a bar of Fairtrade chocolate to launch the event. It turned out to be a successful campaign to get every supermarket throughout Scotland to stock Fairtrade products. Barnaby Miln sent supporters of Christian Aid Scotland, SCIAF, Traidcraft, Oxfam and the World Development Movement a list of 85 supermarkets in Scotland's cities and larger towns, and encouraged during the Fortnight to go and ask for Fairtrade products.
Fairtrade Fortnight spread to the rest of the United Kingdom the following year; today, Fairtrade Fortnights are held in several countries, most notably Ireland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Awareness raising and promotion of Fairtrade certified products to the public are the main objectives of the Fortnight.
Usually events held during the fortnight include: Fetes, Fairs, Fairtrade food and drink tastings, Fashion shows, and Community, school, college and university events. These events are often supported by local authorities and governments, Fairtrade Steering Groups, dozens of charities and ATOs, all seeking to ensure that the local populace purchase fair and ethically traded goods.
As part of Fairtrade Fortnight, Fairtrade Foundation brings co-operative farmers to the UK to "tour schools, and TV studios and radio stations to provide a human face and voice to issues of trade justice."
Notes and references
- Staff, Guardian (9 March 2005). "The achievments of the fairtrade movement". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-09-06 – via www.theguardian.com.
- Herald, 13 February 1997, Retailing by Simon Bain
- Edinburgh Evening News, 14 February 1997, Shop around for fair trade by John Vidal
- Life and Work magazine, March 1997, Pester power puts fairness into focus
- Scottish Episcopalian, April 1997, page 6
- Christian Aid News, April/June 1997, Pester power rules! page 12
- Adams, Tim (24 February 2019). "From bean to bar in Ivory Coast, a country built on cocoa". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-09-06 – via www.theguardian.com.