A trip to visit some of the poorest parts of India has been planned to expose the truth behind Fair Trade between 5 – 18th January 08. Coconut Creatives Directors Sarah Dyer and Christopher Cook will be accompanying Jeremy Piercy and a small team of his staff to New Delhi, India to see what impact Shared Earth’s Fair Trade work has had on developing areas.
On our return the full story will be featured in national, regional and green/ethical magazines.
Key Story Features include:
· True Stories; from children who were reduced to selling their bodies at train stations
· Fair Trade survey – what people in the UK understand about Fair Trade
· Facts & figures from the International Fair Trade Association
· Indian Artisan Interviews; life before Fair Trade and how it has changed them
Follow the India Trip Live!
To follow the India trip live visit the Shared Earth blog site through www.sharedearthnewsandmedia.co.uk. Gain access to daily interviews, images and quotes.
To receive a full report pre & post India trip please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01963 31030 for further information.
Why is this trip so important?
Because we are reporting back on the positive impact Fair Trade has had on the lives of so many people world-wide. Examples of what we will be reporting on are:
1. Reducing Begging & Prostitution of Children
There is an orphanage for street children near New Delhi, where women from local villages come in to make bags and other products to fund the orphanage. Recently, 3 of those children, who had formerly just begged and sold their bodies on railway stations, had grown to the age of 18 and were confidently in charge of 3 of the craft workshops. “It was a real joy to see them looking so happy and fulfilling such responsible roles,” expresses Jeremy, Fair Trade campaigner and founder of national retail organisation Shared Earth.
2. Fair Trade Philosophy
Jeremy would like to see a change in our society away from its materialistic attitudes to life, “I’d like people, especially young people, to understand that it’s what you do and the way you work that matters, not just how much you earn. If people actually started to realise that caring about other people makes YOU more happy, as well as those other people, then attitudes might change and society could only be the better for it.”
Watch this space!
Shared Earth held its first ‘Discovery Day’ on Thursday 15 November, to introduce potential franchisees to Shared Earth and explain what is involved in its franchise package. Seven people attended from a variety of towns around the country and feedback was positive, with almost everyone wanting to progress to the next stage of undertaking detailed interviews and searches for specific suitable properties.
Coconut Creatives has been working with Shared Earth since September to create and manage the public relations launch of the franchise package. With very little advertising undertaken, the campaign has been hugely successful with national, regional and industry specific PR and Media interest being aparent. Since the launch of Shared Earth’s franchise scheme in October, over 70 people have expressed an interest, including two current wholesale customers who have approached Shared Earth to discuss the possibility of converting their shops into a Shared Earth franchise.
To prepare for the opening of the first franchise, Shared Earth is undertaking a major re-branding exercise in their existing 7 shops. A new green colour has been agreed for outside walls and windows, and all shop signs are to be unified, hopefully with the letters made by Fair Trade supplier Mitra Bali in Indonesia.
Recently, Jeremy Piercy founder of Shared Earth decided to offer his business as a franchise package. In this article he explains why Fair Trade is so important and why consumers everywhere are making the choice more and more often to buy Fair Trade Products.
Fair Trade is a way of making sure that the goods we buy have a positive effect on the world around us. The main aim of multinational companies is to maximise profit, and generally in the past they haven’t been too concerned about how they make it. There are still millions of children in the world who work long hours in sweatshops, and millions of people working in unsafe, unhygienic conditions to earn a wage which is insufficient to feed their families.
In Britain, laws were passed in the 19th century to make slavery, child labour and other abhorrent practices illegal. Large companies have realised they can transfer production to countries where such laws don’t exist, or where local officials can be bribed to ignore malpractice. Multinationals have enormous power – often more power than the governments of the countries they buy from. All we see is the colourful goods in our shops. How they’re made is hidden away, often on the other side of the world.
The Fair Trade movement is making the multinationals sit up and take notice! Millions of people are realising that there is more to life than just money and material possessions. They are starting to care about where the products they buy come from, whether people are being exploited in the process and whether they’re damaging the environment unnecessarily. Consumers are saying, “We have power too!”
Fair Trade ensures that producers are paid reasonable prices for their work; child labour is avoided; working conditions are decent and sustainable materials are used wherever possible. Fair Trade companies also pay sufficiently upfront on their orders so as to ensure that producers don’t end up in the hands of unscrupulous moneylenders. This often happens because the producers just cannot afford to buy the raw materials for production, or the seeds to plant the next year’s crops.
Fair Trade tries to help those at the bottom of society, those who are least well off – such as the disabled. It also tries to support communities, not just individuals, by refusing to bargain producers down to the lowest price. Fair Trade companies often enable enough profit to be made to pay for wells (fresh water), schools or the development of other community projects.
Sales of Fair Trade products are increasing substantially in all areas. And the reason for this? It has nothing to do with price. It’s simply that people like to feel they’re making the world a better place.
Written by Jeremy Piercy, Fair Trade pioneer and founder of Shared Earth.
For more information on Shared Earth go to http://ishouldcoco.wpengine.com/portfolio/ to read the case study or visit www.sharedearth.co.uk