Fair Trade is about Fair Trade.

Six words but with deep and complex meaning. You really need to Think!

The very first idea behind the Green Shop was to put Fairly Traded products on a commercial shop shelf. We were unusual in 1993 (unusual – only in ’93?) in seeing Fair Trade as just as integral a part of being Green as Organic. At its simplest: Organic looks after the Earth; Fair Trade, the People.

FAIR trade is where ordinary people in the richer countries can actively help the least fortunate in the poorer communities of the world. Fair Trade isn’t Charity, it’s the opposite. No hand-outs. No gifts. Fair Trade helps the poorest lift themselves out of poverty and clear of oppressive trade and government practices through their own skills, talents and hard work. It’s about Dignity.

Fair Trade was begun in 1950s USA by Mennonite Christians. It came to Europe in the ’60s, then to Britain. It was clear that Fair Trade would fail if “hidden” in church halls or small groups, no matter how dedicated. Fair Trade has to provide products to compete in the open market, head-to-head with the mainstream. By ’95 or ’96 the British Association of Fair Trade Shops had become our source of traders’ Fair Trade credentials. That network of verifiable Fair Trade Trading has since expanded greatly. Our tiny contribution is in providing a dedicated outlet for Fair Trade in England’s most northerly town.

Recognising that the practices of Big Business made Fair Trade so very necessary in the first place, we believe the solution is: Small and Ethical in the Third World – Small and Ethical Here!

Fair Trade is about Fair Trade.

SERIOUSLY FAIR TRADE GOODIES IN THE GREEN SHOP INCLUDE:

Teas and Coffees, Jams and Sugars. Chocolate, Chocolates, Sweeties and Snack Bars. Snacks, Cereals, Juices. Dried Fruit & Nuts and salted Nuts. All sorts of Food. The odd bottle of (also Organic) Wine and Beer.

Tissues, Notebooks, Wrapping Paper, Musical Instruments. Toys. Rugs and other Floor Coverings. Throws and Bedding. Woodcraft, Carvings, Ceramics, Gifts. Cards. Mirrors. Photo-Frames. Bags and Baskets. Jewellery.

Scarves, Hats and Gloves. Clothing for ladies, gents and children. Jackets. Shirts, Skirts and Dresses.

All in a small, ethical shop in Berwick. Amazing!

– 2.6.14. – We are told that a lot of flak has been flying around the media claiming that “Fairtrade doesn’t help the poor“. We reply that that is utter nonsense. Economists studied two out of a thousand organisations in 2 out of a possible 70 countries to produce a report which has been welcomed in the fair trade world. However, the media have ignored the positives in the report and sensationalised the only negative aspect which was already being addressed, but as Traidcraft say: these things take time. Beware the media. Always! They have their own agenda.

January 2014. TRAIDCRAFT have been quietly working away at sourcing Fair Trade Palm Oil and have announced yet another industry first – a new range of Fair Trade Household Cleaners branded Clean & Fair. On our shelves since March.

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