‘Before you finish breakfast in the morning, you’ve depended on more than half the world’.

That quote by Martin Luther King Jr is the inspiration for this year’s Fairtrade Fortnight which runs from 29 February to 13 March on the theme of the ‘Big Fairtrade Breakfast’. With coffee from Kenya, tea from India, sugar from Malawi and juice from Brazilian oranges just for starters, it isn’t difficult to see why the American civil rights activist made this claim.

The Fairtrade Foundation helps farmers and workers in the developing world to earn enough to know where their next meal is coming from and to make small essential investments in their businesses.  They may handle food every day, but many workers in the developing world can go hungry for several months of the year. In the tea growing regions of Malawi for example, stunting rates, where children are too short for their height as a result of poor diet and bad health, are as high as 50%.

Fairtrade helps around 1.5 million farmers and workers to get a fairer price for their goods so they can afford to feed themselves and have a little extra to invest in their businesses. This investment might include installing a water tank so crops can be easily watered without the farmer or workers having to walk miles to the nearest water supply. This can then increase productivity, improve crops, help the farm to diversify more easily into other crops, improve profits and provide a ready supply of water for cattle who can then produce more milk for workers and their families.

Whether it’s providing Fairtrade tea and coffee in staff kitchens or selling Fairtrade chocolate, cakes and bananas in the work canteen, here are five reasons why any business should get on board with Fairtrade:

Proof

By providing products with the Fairtrade mark to staff, visitors and customers, businesses are giving clear evidence of their ethical commitment and giving themselves another USP to help them stand out from competing or neighbouring businesses.

Trust

Trust can be a critical part of an employee or customer decision making. With independent GlobeScan research finding that nine out of ten customers trust the Fairtrade mark, the Fairtrade mark can be one way of reminding people that your business is one to work with.

Awareness

Customers are more aware of and interested in where food comes from than ever before and Fairtrade is now growing eight times faster than the economy as a whole. By going Fairtrade you’re more likely than ever to be answering that question before anyone needs to ask it.

Feel good

‘Soft’ factors can often be the differentiator between one business with a very similar offering to another. Demonstrating that you are a business that cares and takes action can be a powerful recruiting tool. The fact you’re using Fairtrade products or taking part in the Big Fairtrade Breakfast is also good for PR and social media.

Environmental

Because Fairtrade supports sustainable practices that minimise the environmental footprint, your use of Fairtrade products is another way of demonstrating your environmental credentials.

To find out more about the range of Fairtrade products from VOW contact your account manager or visit us at www.voweurope.com

For more ideas and viewpoints follow us at www.twitter.com/VOWEurope

 

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