Recipes for Fairtrade Fortnight

This is a great resource for anyone looking for inspiration during Fairtrade Fortnight:

Whether you’re a meat or fish eater, a vegetarian or a baker you’ll find something that suits

Posted on February 9th, 2021 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

International Womens Day 8 March 2021

International Women’s Day falls just outside Fairtrade Fortnight this year – but women’s empowerment is so vital to the fair trade message that we’re going to celebrate in a big way.

The WFTO has set up a dedicated website where you can find out how fair trade organisations are promoting and supporting women – along with some great ideas for you to join in on social media.

Check out the #WomenOfFairTrade website

And our Fairtrade in a time of covid event on 5 March – with Shared Interest staff Immaculate Ochieno (Kenya) and Kodzo Korkortsi (Ghana) forms part of the York International Women’s Week festival.

Posted on January 21st, 2021 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

Sign up for the Co-op’s Fairtrade Fortnight pack

The Co-op is one of the pioneers of Fairtrade and our local Co-op store is quite often the closest place we can find Fairtrade products across the region.

You can sign up to receive one of their Fairtrade Fortnight member packs here.

Posted on January 20th, 2021 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

Fairtrade Fortnight “yarnbombing” knitting and crochet project

As a crochet and all round crafty person I was delighted at Christmas to see the post boxes being “yarn bombed” by hand crocheted snow scenes etc. The Royal Mail were also delighted as the posted this photo on their social media.

I couldn’t help thinking how brilliant it would be if we could “yarn bomb” post boxes for Fairtrade Fortnight. It seemed like a really good way to get the mark into our communities in a safe and socially distanced way.

I’d already started writing a crochet pattern for a Fairtrade mark, but this would need something altogether bigger.


Crochet pattern for the Fairtrade mark

So I set about creating a pattern for a Fairtrade mark that would be big enough to decorate the top of a British post box. The first thing is – all post boxes are slightly different, so there’s no standard size. However, one lady who has made lots of these gave me this advice: Use two strands of DK yarn, an 8mm hook and just keep going till you reach 23″ (60cm)

So here is my pattern if you want to crochet a Fairtrade mark that’s big enough to fit on your local post box. I’ve spoken to the Fairtrade Foundation about the use of the mark and they’re content to let us do this, so please make your own, decorate your post box, take a photo and upload it to social media, or email and we’ll share your photos.

Yarnbombing Crochet pattern Fairtrade mark

I have also created two knitting patterns for the mark using Stitch Fiddle:

Go to the Fairtrade mark knitting pattern – post box size

Go to the smaller version of the knitting pattern

This fantastic embroidered “Shower Cap” is another brilliant idea for covering circular post boxes! Thanks to Barbara from the Shipley Fairtrade group for sending it in.

These are from Stockton-on-Tees

And this is one from Selby

If you’re making a hat for your post box, you might want to add a label to explain what Fairtrade Fortnight is and why Fairtrade is an important part of tackling climate change. We’ve produced two template labels with some of the key messages but these are just suggestions. Download them as a Word document and you can change and add your own ideas. The first label is designed to be folded in half and laminated so you have a double sided A5 label to attach to your post box. The second is designed to be cut into quarters so it will give you four A6 labels with slightly less information.

Label for yarnbombing projects

4 Labels for yarnbombing projects

Please send us your photos. We’d love to see and share them. Email them to

If you are going to “yarnbomb” your communities for Fairtrade Fortnight, please return after 7 March and take away the work. That way it doesn’t become untidy or turn into litter.

Here’s what Skipton Faitrtrade Initiative have been doing with the knitting pattern:

Posted on January 11th, 2021 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

Fairtrade Connections – Community Arts Festival for Fairtrade Fortnight 2021

The Fairtrade Connections festival is over.

15 events

£1,233 raised in donations from almost 30 individuals, groups and organisations.

1,357 free tickets booked

741 people attended at least one event.


You can view all the events on our YouTube channel or via the Choose The World You Want festival website

Working together to create change is what we as Fairtrade campaigners do. But this year it has been really difficult to campaign in our communities, and by the time Fairtrade Fortnight rolls round again, we will have been mainly confined to our houses., seeing each other over Zoom, for a year.

So we’re working with other regions and nations of the UK to organise a Community Arts Festival for all campaigners, supporters and friends of Fairtrade around the UK.

Our arts festival will form part of a wider Choose The World You Want Festival of Fairtrade organised by the Fairtrade Foundation. See it here.

And read the blog by Stefan Donnelly to find out how you can make a difference for farmers and workers without breaking lockdown.

You can see and download the resources the Fairtrade Foundation has produced to help you promote Fairtrade Fortnight here.

Media: Download the Fairtrade Connections press release here: PRESS-RELEASE

We have a great programme of events lined up.

Fairtrade Connections Arts Festival Programme



Monday 22 February 12 – 1pm

Let us take you to Palestine. Meet the makers of Hadeel’s gorgeous Palestinian crafts with this – the first in a fortnightly series of virtual tours of their workshops.

This first tour takes you to the Atfaluna Society for Deaf Children in Gaza. You will learn the story of the project, how they work and the impact on their artisans, and watch them create beautiful traditional crafts LIVE.

This event is sponsored by Edinburgh Fairtrade City

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Monday 22 February – 4.30 – 6pm

Caribbean chef Euten Lindsay will host a cook-along.

Euten was caught up in the Windrush scandal and he will be in conversation with Sandhya Dave about his life and cooking.

This event has now ended

If you missed it, you can watch the event here:


Download Euten’s recipes here:




Some suggestions for Fairtrade ingredients to use in these recipes:

Fairtrade olive oil

Fairtrade tomatoes

Fairtrade coconut milk

Fair trade Kilombero rice

Fairtrade brown sugar

This event is sponsored by Pocklington FLAG (Fairtrade and Local Produce Action Group)

Tuesday 23 February 6-7pm

Fairtrade Campaigner Forum

This is a unique event designed to bring together Fairtrade campaigners and supporters from all around the UK.

We aren’t able to hold a Supporter Conference this year, so we’re missing those fantastic opportunities to meet and network in person with other Fairtrade campaigners and supporters – a chance encounter over a Traidcraft stem ginger cookie, a shared giggle over an ill positioned banana, an inspirational story of another groups’ local campaign activity. Those shared moments that send us back to our Fairtrade Communities inspired to keep on with the fight.

So we’re working with Brent Fairtrade Network to hold a Campaigner Forum. We’re inviting campaigners and supporters to come along, share a campaign or activity you’re proud of, a connection made, learn from others and go away inspired.

This event has now ended


Wednesday 24 February 12-1.30pm

Round Table Discussion: What’s Fairtrade got to do with Fighting the Climate Crisis?

A Fairtrade Fortnight roundtable discussion exploring Fairtrade’s role in tackling the climate emergency with perspectives from :

The Fairtrade Foundation
The Centre of Climate Justice, Glasgow Caledonian University
Fairtrade farmers

This event is co-ordinated by the Scottish Fair Trade Forum


Wednesday 24 February 5-6pm

Choose The World You Care About

Join in this interactive session and conversation at our online event (via Zoom) and tell us why you choose Fairtrade and how you currently live or plan to live ethically in 2021.

As well as hearing your thoughts and ideas, we look forward to welcoming guest speaker, CEO of Fairtrade Foundation Mike Gidney, who’s on hand to answer your burning questions!

This event is co-ordinated by the Welsh Centre for International Affairs

Wednesday 24 February 6-7pm

Join acclaimed photographer Sean Hawkey as he shares some of the incredible images in his latest book, Faces of Fairtrade. Sean visited Fairtrade farmers across the world and his photos reflect their fascinating lives.

Sean Hawkey has spent his working life in aid, development and human rights advocacy and has spent the last ten years as a journalist working across 70 countries. He is currently focusing on long-term projects in Honduras and Mexico, looking at climate change, governance and migration and he frequently undertakes assignments for Fairtrade organisations. Last year he published a photographic book called Faces of Fairtrade, a compilation of his photographs from assignments across the world.

Sean says:

“Farmers and producers are ordinarily treated with contempt in trade, if we believe in justice and being fair to other people then we must push together – as a movement – for better conditions and deals for them. That’s what Fairtrade does, and that’s why I support it.”

You can read more about Sean’s work on his website: Click here.

This event is sponsored by York Fair Trade Forum

This event has now ended but you can watch our recording


Thursday 25 February 3-6

Forum for the promotion of Bird Friendly Certification in East Africa

The goal of this event is to bring together parties interested in defining a framework for the introduction of Bird Friendly coffee and cocoa certification in East Africa, and supporting cooperatives in the region to access this.


Thursday 25 February 4-5pm

Fly The Fairtrade Flag With fairandfunky!

Join fairandfunky for a creative workshop, and make your very own Fairtrade mark!

Do you know what the Fairtrade mark stands for? What does it mean for farmers and workers?

This workshop is aimed at primary age children and will help them learn all about Fairtrade – they will then make their very own Fairtrade mark using scrap paper and card.

You will need:

– Piece of plain A4 paper

– Magazines, packaging, scrap paper (any paper or card you would normally throw away!)

– Pencil or pen

– Glue

If you’re booking this event with children, why not also book the Fairtrade Taskmaster event on 27 February – you’ll see why!

This event is sponsored by Fairtrade Reigate.

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Friday 26 February 3-4pm

Fairtrade, the Climate Crisis and Engagement

Join Nilufar Verjee, Director of Public Engagement for the Fairtrade Foundation who will talk about how to engage people with the issues around Fairtrade and the climate crisis.

This event is part of Middlesex University’s Fairtrade Debate Season

Friday 26 February – 6-8pm

Chocolate Has A Name – photographic exhibition

Farmers from Ghana who grow some of our world’s premium cocoa and other custodians of our much loved confection, tell us their story.

This event comes to you via Africaniwa

Friday 26 February – 7-8pm

Join Ghanaian musician Richard Wiafe – who works at the Fairtrade fruit project Golden Exotics who will share his music and answer questions about his life. Richard’s university studies are funded through the Fairtrade Premium.

Watch video about Golden Exotics

Read this article in the Independent about how Brexit is threatening imports of Golden Exotics Fairtrade bananas to the UK.

Richard says: 

“Lack of financial support almost made me give up education, until I was employed at Golden Exotics as a farm hand. I realised that I could get support from there, through the Fairtrade premium and am studying Integrated Development Studies. I actually want to become a Human Right activist/advocate

I discovered my potential/talent in music at an early age when I began to write and perform local Gospel songs but never recorded them due to financial constraints. As soon as I was employed at Golden Exotics I heard of Fairtrade and decided to learn much about it, at a point I decided to interrogate some of the workers in the company who are the beneficiaries of the Fairtrade premium, The response from them and the projects the Fairtrade premium committee had undertaken with the premium money inspired me to write and record my first song “Welcome Fairtrade“. Subsequently I’ve written and recorded new songs titled “Choose the world you want” and “We stand with farmers”. These songs are to support the upcoming Fairtrade Fortnight Festival in the UK with (Fairtrade Yorkshire Co-ordinator) Joanna Pollard who has been a blessing and a motivation ever since we knew each other.

I want to use my music as a tool to influence consumers of Fairtrade products and all stakeholders involved to inform them that the premium workers are receiving is being used for a good cause. It is my dream to work with Fairtrade to push this agenda far and make a reality. I have more songs to write and record for Fairtrade.”

This event is sponsored by Bradford Fairtrade Zone

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Saturday 27 February 10am

Wake Up And Taste The Coffee with the Scottish Fair Trade Forum

This is your chance to hear from the Sholi Fairtrade Coffee Co-operative in Rwanda

Saturday 27 February 11-12am

Climate Change Coffee Morning with Fair Trade Wales

Hear from Ugandan coffee farmer Jenipher and taste her delicious coffee roasted in Wales

Saturday 27 February – 11-12am

Fairtrade Taskmaster – Join us for a Saturday morning of Fairtrade themed silliness. Fun for all the family with our Fairtrade themed Taskmaster event.

Join Little Alex Horne (yes – that one – yes, really!) as he sets you a series of tasks.

Who will be wearing the best Fair Trade Outfit? Who will make the best Fairtrade mark? (Hint: you can come along to our fairandfunky craft workshop on Thursday 25 February to help you with this)

Use the most Fairtrade products to create a superhero in the kitchen. How will you make your house look and feel like a beach? Who will make the most convincing rock star?

Use the Fairtrade colours to draw a monster with many legs – but not too many! How many Fairtrade items fit on a plate? Can you find 9 different items whose initial letters spell out the word FAIRTRADE?

Dress up as a cow and moo at a bar of Fairtrade milk chocolate. Do any of your books have pandas in them? Go and check. Go on. Yes, now.

There are ten great prizes to be won – Fairtrade Favourites colouring books and Fairtrade treats – with these creative and fun tasks.

If you’re booking this event with children we recommend you also book the Fly The Fairtrade Flag workshop on 25 February – you’ll find out why!

This event is sponsored by Good Taste – The Sheffield Fair Trade Shop

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Monday 1 March 4.30-6pm

Cook along with former Bake Off contestant Sandy Docherty

Join Sandy who will share her recipe for Meat Balls in Spicy Tomato Sauce using ingredients from Fair Trade supplier JTS.

Sandy’s also given us some great vegetarian and vegan alternatives, Download the recipe to see what they are:

Fair Trade Meat Balls in Tomato sauce


Sandy says:

“I love the opportunity to share my passion with the public, baking and cooking have a universal language. I’m inspired by the public and thrive on their feedback and comments.  Fair trade, what a fabulous phrase, wouldn’t it be amazing if everything in life were fair? But we know that Fair Trade is exactly that, It means to me that hard working farmers and workers receive fair trade and payment for what they produce, it supports their families, their pride and helps them build a future. What do I get in return? I get an exciting range of products, the highest quality ingredients and ultimately dishes that meet and surpass in flavour and value. ”

This event is sponsored by Fairtrade Leeds.

This  event has now ended


Monday 1 March – 7-8pm

Good Taste – the Sheffield fair trade shop’s 6th birthday celebration

Sheffield’s fair trade shop is having a birthday party and you’re all invited!

This is your chance to meet some of their suppliers – Traidcraft, Just Trade, Black Yak (based in East Yorkshire) and Artizan (based in Harrogate). They are all fellow members of BAFTS Fair Trade Network UK and you can hear how the last year has affected producers around the world.

BBC journalist Dan Walker presents a fantastic £12,000 cheque to Taste – the fantastic charity Good Taste supports, to see where some of your money goes. Taste brings clean water to rural areas of Nigeria.

Bring your favourite fair trade item and share your fair trade stories. There will even be cake (although sadly you won’t be able to taste it)

This event has now ended


Wednesday 3 March 3-4.30

Fairtrade Debate

Join Middlesex University’s student debate society who will be challenging the discussion around the proposal: Fairtrade is a minor consideration when it comes to climate change.

With special guest Chair Sophi Tranchell. Audience participation for Q&A.

This event is part of Middlesex University’s Fairtrade Debate season


Wednesday 3 March 5-6

Discussion on ethical and sustainable production and consumption

In this event, Sussex DevSoc will be joining the city’s Fairtrade group members to get insights on the evolution of Fairtrade, the impact of Covid-19 on farmers and workers and ethical consumption. Come to discuss the importance of promoting the voices of artisanal producers! Volunteering opportunities with the Fairtrade Brighton and Hove Group will also be available for those interested.

More about the speakers:

Christine Gent: “I am a supply chain specialist. With experience in Social Enterprises, UN bodies, and The Body Shop. Currently WFTO Fair Trade Expert for MADE51 a 100% refugee made brand, Non Exec director People Tree Fair Trade Group, and Global Community Director for Fashion Revolution.”

Louise Mabbs: “I am a voluntary fairtrade representative for Traidcraft, and Tearcraft. I got involved as a teenager in the 1970s in Wirksworth, Derbyshire. In 1995, I started supplying our United Reformed Churches in London, then in Hove & Portslade and now at Brighthelm in Brighton among other local churches and groups.”


Wednesday 3 March 4-5.30

Join a chocolate truffle making workshop with David Greenwood Haigh, an award winning chef, chocolatier and international chocolate consultant of Coeur de Xocolat.

David says: I think I have the best job in the world travelling training people to make bean to bar chocolate and chocolate products, whilst helping to develop eco tourism and stimulating additional revenue in origin. And trying to elevate the gamers up the value chain.
But chocolate isn’t just a treat or a sweet indulgence. It’s an safari of the senses, that can take you across continents and into the heart of a narrative that reaches back for millennia.
It’s a story of distant shores, of discovery and adventure. It’s a story of of intrigue and political drama. It’s a story of progress, of enterprise and science. Most of all, it’s a story of passion – a passion that has conquered the world, and which continues to bring people together on a shared, delicious journey.

Download the details and recipe here:

FT chocolate Truffle Making at Home

This event is sponsored by Bury Fairtrade

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Thursday 4 March 11am

Join Bruce Crowther MBE in conversation with Kirklees Libraries Writer in Residence Christina Longden talking about his new memoir “Not in my lifetime – a Fair Trade campaigner’s Journal”. The book takes in Bruce’s adventures in fair trade and in particular his connections with the International Fair Trade Towns movement which he was instrumental in founding.

Bruce will talk about his approach to writing the book and his life in fair trade.

This event will be accessed via the Kirklees Libraries YouTube channel

Watch Bruce’s video to find out more.

This event is sponsored by Fairtrade in Bolton


Thursday 4 March – 6-7pm

Young People in Fairtrade

Hear why the Fairtrade movement is more relevant than ever and how it supports and empowers young people as as we speak to Emily Pearce, Sustainable Sourcing & Fairtrade Manager at Co-op. There will be an opportunity for Q&A discussion on the themes too.

This event is co-ordinated by the Co-op Young Members’ Group


Friday 5 March – 12 -1pm

Fairtrade in a time of covid – Join Immaculate Ochieno and Kodzo Korkortsi, Shared Interest’s local managers who deal direct with producers in East and West Africa to find out how Fairtrade is supporting women’s empowerment and helping producers survive and thrive through covid.

Kodzo Korkortsi, is the Programme Manager for Shared Interest Foundation.  He is based in Ghana and will give an overview of the Foundations recent projects including Bees for Business which is working with women beekeepers in Burkina Faso.  He will also talk about the Livelihood Security Fund which has been helping producers affected by Covid.

Immaculate Ochieno is Shared Interest’s Lending Manager for East Africa. She will talk about projects that promote gender equality in the region.

This event is sponsored by York Fair Trade Forum and Skipton Fairtrade Initiative

This event has now ended.

Watch again via YouTube

Friday 5 March 12.30-1.20pm

Corporate Social Responsibility Lecture Veronica Heaven Director of The Heaven Company

Veronica Heaven will explore the term corporate social responsibility (CSR) that refers to practices and policies undertaken by corporations that are intended to have a positive influence on the world. The key idea behind CSR is for corporations to pursue other pro-social objectives, in addition to maximizing profits. Examples of common CSR objectives include minimizing environmental externalities, promoting volunteerism among company employees, and donating to charity.


Friday 5 March 2.30pm

Panel discussion: Exploring the Sociocultural Life of the Banana

Why is the system behind bananas complex?
How does social justice relate to agribusiness?
Hear from Richard Wiafe (star of our music evening) what it’s like to be a banana farmer

This event is organised by St Andrews University

Find out more and sign up via the Facebook event page

Friday 5 March – 6.30-7.30pm


Welsh poets Zoë Brigley Thompson and Kristian Evans, editors of “100 Poems to Save the Earth” will read from this life-afforming anthology which is due to be published in Spring 2021 by Seren Books.

Zoë Brigley has three PBS recommended poetry collections: The Secret (2007), Conquest (2012), and Hand & Skull (2019) (all published by Bloodaxe). She also published the nonfiction essays Notes from a Swing State (2019). She recently published a chapbook, Aubade After A French Movie (Broken Sleep 2020), and in 2021, she will publish another chapbook, Into Eros, with Verve. She runs an anti-violence advocacy podcast: Sinister Myth: How Stories We Tell Perpetuate Violence. She won an Eric Gregory Award for the best British poets under 30, was Forward Prize commended, and listed in the Dylan Thomas Prize. She is co-editor (with Kristian Evans) of the forthcoming anthology 100 Poems to Save the Earth. She works as an Assistant Professor in English at the Ohio State University.

Zoe says

“For me, maintaining fair trade is about recognizing our interconnectedness in the world. It is far too easy to exploit labour in countries that are not our own, when we do not see the immediate and heartbreaking consequences of that. If we could raise the global standard of living it would have such a strong and immediate impact for us all, in fact on the climate crisis itself. But more than that fair trade is just the right thing to do.”

Kristian Evans is a poet and environmentalist interested in deep ecology. He is the author of Unleaving (Happenstance), and the online series A Kenfig Journal for Sustainable Wales. Together with Zoe Brigley, he is editing the forthcoming anthology, 100 Poems to Save the Earth (Seren 2021) and a special issue of Magma Poetry 79 on Dwelling (with Rob Mackenzie). You can see their articles about ecologies and poetry at Planet, Poetry Wales, and Wales Arts Review, as well as in a film on dwelling made in cooperation with Planet:  They have a co-written non-fiction chapbook Otherworlds out from Broken Sleep in 2021.

Kristian says:

“Like most people, I want to know where the products I need come from, how they were made, and how the people involved were treated and paid. We are no longer willing to accept that exploitation is an inevitable part of the price of the things we buy.”

They’ll be joined by Yorkshire based Clare Shaw, who’ll read from her third Bloodaxe collection “Flood” on the themes of this year’s Fairtrade Fortnight – “Choose The World You Want” and “Fairtrade, Climate and You”.

Clare Shaw has three poetry collections with Bloodaxe – Straight Ahead, Head On and Flood: her forthcoming fourth collection was awarded a Northern Writer’s Award and will be published by Bloodaxe in 2022.

As an Associate Fellow of the Royal Literary Fund, Clare is responsible for establishing writing projects in workplaces across the UK. She is co-director of the Kendal Poetry Festival; and a regular tutor for the Poetry School, the Wordsworth Trust and the Arvon Foundation.

In her various roles as a writer, librettist, project leader and mental health trainer, she works with a wide range of organisations: these currently include the Royal Academy of Music, St Mungo’s Community Housing Association, and the BBC.


“‘As a reader you cannot expect an easy time with Clare Shaw. She deals with the big subjects, war and conflict, violence and violation but also the subtler themes of language as a means of expression, identity and the difficulties of motherhood. She takes us to places we may be reluctant to go but more importantly she fixes her gaze on us and demands our attention and our involvement” (James Carruth, The North).

This event is sponsored by Embsay with Eastby Fairtrade Group

This event has now ended

We are sorry to be unable to bring you the full event recording due to copyright restrictions on the upcoming anthology 100 Poems To Save The Earth, however you can see the two sessions where Clare was reading from her collection Flood

Watch the first section

Watch the last section

Saturday 6 March 11.30-1pm

Get moving and learn Bollywood and Bhangra dancing with Avtar Panesar the host of our Indian dance workshop

Find out more via Avtar’s website

Avtar says:

Namaste! My name is Avtar. Having Indian parents means traditional curries have always been a big part of my life – delicious food, full of flavor and spice. Great food is one of life’s pleasures but when it is Fair food traded fairly, supporting global producers it enriches the heart, mind and soul.

I grew up listening to Bhangra music legends and watching iconic Hindi Bollywood films (from colourful happy sing-a-longs to tragic melodramas). I now run Indian dance and Cultural Education sessions in the heart of the south west to keep me in touch with my roots and India’s rich culture.

Join us for a fun, easy to follow dance-a-long to happy and expressive beats of India.

Chalo Let’s Nacho! – Come on Let’s Dance!

This event is sponsored by Warrington Fairtrade Steering Group

The event has now ended


Saturday 6 March 9.30 – 11

Pocklington Fairtrade and Local Produce Action Group Coffee Morning

Read more about what Pocklington have in store for Fairtrade Fortnight 2021


Sunday 7 March 9am

Bradford Cathedral Big Fairtrade Breakfast

Bradford Cathedral is calling on everyone to join them for the online Big Fairtrade Breakfast on Sunday 7th March at 9am. Though the annual Fairtrade Breakfast cannot take place in the cathedral this year, it can still be held online. All you need to do is stock up on Fairtrade or locally-sourced breakfast items, and join people across the city on a Zoom-hosted breakfast!


Monday 8 March – 12 -1pm

On International Women’s Day you can join our virtual tour of the Bethlehem Arab Women’s Union. Meet the makers of the gorgeous crafts sold by Hadeel. 

See where the women work, learn their stories and watch as they create something before your eyes!

This event is sponsored by Edinburgh Fairtrade City


More events are being added all the time so keep an eye on this page and our Facebook page.

Official festival sponsors: All’s Fair, Sonia’s Smile, Hull Fairtrade Partnership, Beverley Fairtrade Group, Ilkley Fairtrade, Walkington Methodist Church, the Fairtrade Foundation and the National Campaigner Committee

Donate to the crowdfunder

Most of our contributors are happy to support us by donating their time free of charge but it’s only right that we make a financial contribution to some – especially those joining us from the low income countries where Fairtrade works.

If you or your group would like to support the festival with a donation of any amount we’re hoping to raise £750 with a Gofundme.

Donate to help make the Community arts festival happen

We can’t wait to see you!

Posted on December 7th, 2020 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

Joanna wins a Special Recognition Award at the Scottish Fair Trade Awards 2020

Our Co-ordinator Joanna Pollard was honoured to receive a Special Recognition award at the Scottish Fair Trade Awards on Monday 16 November, for her work on the Nestle campaign. Here are her thoughts:

“I worked with Martin and especially Colleen from the Scottish Fair Trade Forum on the Nestle campaign and after recently participating in virtual workshops with the Forum and reporting to the Scottish Parliament’s Cross Party committee on Fairtrade, I feel like I’ve been adopted as an honorary Scot. But it was still a wonderful surprise to receive this award alongside such brilliant Scottish fair trade campaigners. As an independent fair trade retailer it was particularly good to see so many of Scotland’s fair trade shops being honoured at what is a particularly tough time for shops but Rainbow Turtle, Gavin’s Mill, All Things Fair and The Emporium of Worldly Goods are stepping up to the challenge of 2020.

For my own part, I was incredibly touched and delighted to hear my friends and colleagues – Colleen, Emina from Fair Trade Wales and in particular my “wing man” Stefan from the Fairtrade Foundation (and originally Northern Ireland, giving us the full set!) with their wonderfully – almost embarrassingly – effusive praise and memories of a summer spent collaborating, brainstorming and organising. I loved hearing that Stefan looked forward to our weekly meetings as the highlight of his week – and our daily email conversations were always creative, productive and supportive, even when I was having a wobble.

Here’s what Emina had to say in a pre-recorded video from her home in South Wales

It was fantastic to collaborate with such generous, enthusiastic and driven people, and I really look forward to working together again in the near future. This award may have my name on it but it’s for everyone involved in the campaign from the York Fair Trade Forum members who stood with me at the gates of Nestle on 1 October to all the 285,000 supporters who signed the petition. But most importantly the award is dedicated to the cocoa farmers in Cote d’Ivoire who we were fighting for. Their video was shown as part of the ceremony and their professionalism, passion and commitment to Fairtrade are so clear. The Found Poem video (featuring MSP Colin Smyth) has it right – “People matter”. Fair trade is all about people supporting one another, connecting wherever in the world we are, putting ourselves on the line for each other. It’s about standing up for one another – standing with farmers when their livelihoods are at risk. It’s about sharing generously, caring passionately and believing in one another. All skills we have had to learn during the pandemic, to keep each other safe. Skills my fair trade tribe have consistently shown they have in spades.

I’ve learnt so much this summer but the most important thing is that with the right people around us we can achieve anything. Collaboration, imagination and motivation are vital but making sure you bring each other joy, keep each other smiling,  and have each other’s backs are most important of all. I feel honoured and privileged to have worked on this campaign and with these people. People matter.”

See all the winners on the Scottish Fair Trade Forum website

Posted on November 19th, 2020 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

Book review – Stolen Lives by Louise Hulland

On a recent shopping trip I was disappointed  by the hugely reduced range of nail polish available to buy in my local Superdrug store. I worked for the retailer in in the early 2000s when we sold hundreds of different shades and brands. It was a mystery to me how demand could possibly have reduced so much in a just a few years, since I was still seeing women with painted nails. Then it struck me with increasing horror. There’s no longer any need to pay £10 for a bottle of nail polish – and the base and top coat if you’re going to do it properly – when for the same price you could go to one of the myriad nail bars that pockmark our high streets and have them done for you. Many people would call it pampering. But the Vietnamese woman who does your nails is so far from pampered she may not even be paid. And she is more likely than not to be a modern slave.

In 2015 I was invited by Baroness Lola Young to attend the launch of the Modern Slavery Act. It was an opportunity to enjoy afternoon tea at the House of Lords, so of course I couldn’t refuse.

But the whole point about modern slavery – like so much of the broken global system of trade – is that the people trapped in slavery can’t refuse either. They have had all their choices taken away, along with their paperwork and money. From Vietnamese teenagers trafficked into the UK to work on cannabis farms, to Slovakians washing your car by hand for £3 a time, and homeless British men taken off city streets to work on farms, made to live, eat and sleep with animals, modern slavery is now so prevalent that it has popped up as a storyline in the perhaps incongruous setting of Ambridge. The Archers – not long after tackling the then little understood issue of coercive control in relationships – is showing how modern slavery is easy to miss since it hides in plain sight.

Louise Hulland’s book looks at all aspects of modern slavery with a keen, incisive eye and a compassion for victims. Threaded through the book is the story of Albanian woman Elena. Lured by a “boyfriend” to Belgium where her papers are taken, Elena finds herself in a brothel and eventually due to a kindly lorry driver she escapes – heavily pregnant – into the British system. Victims who are so scared of their bosses and the authorities that they resist attempts to save them, and are so traumatised by their experiences that their accounts are inconsistent, do not make credible witnesses. Louise shines a bright light on the labyrinthine, almost Kafkaesque, complexity of the hostile environment which aims to support victims and prosecute bosses, while still treating victims as potential illegal immigrants.

While supporting the right of workers to decent pay and conditions wherever they are is close to the hearts of trade justice campaigners, perhaps most relevant to our movement is the persistence of modern slavery in complex supply chains. The second principle of fair trade is “Transparency and Accountability” and it would be difficult to imagine anything further from most conventional models of trade than the fair trade model of full traceability. The people who import and sell fair trade goods in our independent fair trade shops understand how important it is to be able to tell the story. Regular visits, audits and inspections are part and parcel of what it means to be a fair trade organisation. This is easier for small importers who know their suppliers by name, but what about bigger organisations? Our old friend the Co-op comes out of Louise’s book very well, with a long interview with Paul Gerrard (The Co-op’s Campaigns and Public Affairs Director) who gives a few key pieces of advice for other retailers who could be doing more. M&S also merits an honourable mention, with their Interactive Map showing all their suppliers all over the world which you can search by sector.

Slavery was not abolished in 1807, 1833 or 1865. It remains endemic, especially in complex supply chains or places where the rule of law does not reign supreme. This book will empower consumers and activists to keep our eyes open, question and tackle the root causes. It should also make you decide that your next afternoon tea will be Fairtrade.

If you want to buy this book, please try to avoid Amazon. Buying from your local bookshop helps support family businesses, or you can order from Hive to get it delivered there, at home or as a download.

Posted on September 22nd, 2020 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

Nestle abandons Fairtrade after a decade. KitKat will no longer bear the mark

Update: 27 October

In 2o10 Nestle announced its target to reach 100% sustainable palm oil by 2020. With just two months to go, they cannot trace a third of all the palm oil they use. Gaining good publicity from announcements like this – and the decision the same year to move to Fairtrade cocoa and sugar for KitKats – should mean Nestle is held to account for achieving their goals. That means we are allowed to publicise their failures.

This article from Rainforest Rescue explains how Nestle’s plans on palm oil fell by the wayside.

The Fairtrade Foundation has published its own blogpost bringing together the whole story from their perspective.

Read the blog here.

Update: Wednesday 23 September

The cocoa harvest in Cote d’Ivoire starts on 1 October and that’s the same day that the first KitKats without the Fairtrade mark roll off the production line in York.

So that’s the day we’ve chosen for our Day of Action, and the day we hand in the Keep KitKat Fairtrade petition with almost 300,000 signatures to Nestle.

Obviously the global pandemic and social distancing laws and guidelines limit the number of people who can take part in person, but you can still get involved from the comfort of your own home.

We want the hashtag #IStandWithFarmers trending on Thursday 1 October. We’re asking supporters and campaigners – including celebrities – to tweet our videos, photos and graphics on that day.

You can download the poster and put it in your window on Thursday 1 October. If you have a shop window, a business or access to another place where you think the poster will be seen, please put one up there.

You can also take a photo of yourself with the poster and share it on social media using the hashtag #IStandWithFarmers You can also add #ChooseFairtrade and/or #KeepKitKatFairtrade

We’re asking everyone to change their Facebook cover photo to the I Stand With Farmers graphic. You can do this just for one day or for a longer period, so long as it includes Thursday 1 October. We want to try and turn Facebook red on Thursday 1 October. Don’t forget, if you manage the Facebook page of a Fair Trade business or campaign group, you can change both your personal and the organisation’s cover photos.

Download the poster: Poster English

Download the Facebook cover photo

Download the Twitter post picture

Download the Instagram post picture

Download the Facebook post picture

Day of Action Press Release

Keep an eye out for more details of what’s happening, because there’s lots more to come.


We hope you’ll love and share the above video, featuring Fairtrade campaigners from around the country reading some of the comments on the petition.

When we hand in the petition on Thursday morning we’ll take photos which you’ll find on our Twitter and Facebook pages.

You will have your own ideas for other ways to get involved. Perhaps you’re having a Zoom meeting for your fair trade towns group, so why not take a screenshot of all your members holding the poster like this one from Dunscore Fairtrade Village.

Perhaps you’re running an art or craft class for children or adults, so why not take our poster and add your own decorations in the white spaces or create your own versions? Or write your own haiku when you tweet out our video? (Tip: Keep KitKat Fairtrade and I Stand With Farmers are both 5 syllables)

These are also available in Welsh from the Fair Trade Wales website

Update: Tuesday 15 September

The latest International Guide to Fair Trade Labels 2020 Edition has been released.

While this looks at both Fairtrade and Rainforest Alliance Standards it does not contain Rainforest Alliance in its list of Fair Trade Labels, instead classing it as a Sustainable Development label. Nevertheless, campaigners have been asking for a simple side by side comparison of the two marks so we have produced a document which attempts to do this. It is not exhaustive and has not been produced under rigorous academic conditions. It is simply a way of broadly comparing the standards of the two marks. All the material comes directly from either the International Guide or from the websites of Rainforest Alliance or Fairtrade.

Rainforest Alliance Fairtrade comparison

You can download the full Rainforest Alliance 2020 standards from their website here.

And download the full FLO standards from their website here.

Update: Wednesday 2 September

Watch the video from the Ivorian Fair Trade Network (RICE) showing how important Fairtrade is for farmers

Update: Thursday 23 July

With the petition now standing at over 275,000 signatures, Nestle has met Joanna and Mark, current and previous Co-ordinators of Fairtrade Yorkshire. Before the meeting we asked some of the signatories what they wanted Nestle to hear. One comment in particular stood out:

My great-great grandfather, Henry Isaac Rowntree, started H.I.Rowntree & Co, later Rowntree & Co. Remind them that KitKat was a Rowntree product and that Rowntree was a Quaker firm, based on Quaker principles of fairness and honesty. Fairtrade matches those principles. The farmers who produce the cocoa for Nestle are as much their workers as those directly employed and are owed a duty of care.

Key Points

Nestle’s plan is for all their cocoa to be independently certified as sustainable by 2025. Because they have been working with Rainforest Alliance and UTZ – which have now merged and will be called Rainforest Alliance – they have chosen to work only with them in the future. This means their relationship with Fairtrade on KitKat will end in October 2020. We asked if the implementation could be postponed until after the pandemic, but the answer was “No.”

Around 10,000 cocoa farmers who form 8 co-operatives in Cote d’Ivoire currently supply Fairtrade cocoa to Nestle. Around half of these already have both Fairtrade and Rainforest Alliance certification. When a company buys cocoa from a Fairtrade farmer they don’t have to buy it on Fairtrade terms. They must do so if they wish to use the Fairtrade mark on their packaging, but until the last decade it was not unusual for farmers to have to sell most of their crop on non-Fairtrade terms. In October 2020 it is likely that some or many of the farmers who are currently only Fairtrade certified  will not have had chance to gain Rainforest Alliance certification. Nestle has agreed that it will help pay for these farmers to gain certification and for those who have not yet achieved it, they will pay a premium on the 2020 harvest – not the Fairtrade premium, but a lower Rainforest Alliance premium. The Rainforest Alliance plans to introduce a minimum premium of $70 per tonne by 2022. At present they require buyers to pay a sustainability premium but there is no minimum. In contrast the Fairtrade premium is set at $240 per tonne.

Nestle says it will end up paying $180 per tonne in premiums. This is lower than the $240 per tonne Fairtrade premium. The Fairtrade premium is paid direct to co-operatives where the money is allocated based on a democratic vote. Nestle has promised to give Fairtrade Yorkshire a breakdown of the $180 premium – how and to whom it is paid and who decides where it is spent.

The key feature of the Fairtrade system is the minimum price guarantee. Currently this is $2400 per tonne. It is likely that the price of cocoa – plus the legally required Living Income Differential – will not drop below this for the 2020 harvest. But in 2017 cocoa prices dropped by 40%. Farmers will not be able to plan long term if they cannot guarantee what price they will receive for their harvest. Bear in mind that on average cocoa farmers in Cote d’Ivoire earn just 74p per day.

Nestle also appeared before the All Party Parliamentary Group on Fairtrade whose co-Chairs, Holly Lynch and Jason McCartney both represent Yorkshire constituencies. They covered all the same concerns as we did in our meeting but also raised the concern that if, as a lot of the petition signatories suggest, people start to boycott KitKat because they are no longer Fairtrade, workers in Nestle’s Yorkshire factories which produce KitKat are at risk of losing their jobs which, particularly in the current employment climate, would be devastating.

Read the the APPG’s press release

Keep KitKat Fairtrade campaign

Kit Kat was invented in York in 1935. A billion bars a year are still made in the city and Nestle has offices here. From its earliest  beginnings in York, Rowntree like many of the city’s Quaker chocolatiers was known as a good employer, providing pay, working conditions and housing and healthcare far beyond what other employers at the time were doing. Fairtrade now does the same thing for people who live in desperate poverty in low income countries growing the food we eat. Which is why we in Yorkshire were delighted when in 2010 Nestle announced that KitKat – its best selling brand – would bear the Fairtrade mark, meaning all the cocoa and sugar which Nestle sources for KitKat is bought on Fairtrade terms.

In the past ten years, cocoa farmers in Cote d’Ivoire, like Rosine who visited Yorkshire in March, and sugar farmers in Fiji and Malawi have benefited from increased prices and community premiums which have transformed their lives and the lives of their families. Nestle intends to source all its sugar from European sugar beet farmers which means around 10,000 small scale sugar farmers losing out. The brand plans to continue buying from its cocoa farmers but not on Fairtrade terms which means 16,000 farmers losing the premiums which they allocate democratically based on their communities’ needs. It’s undemocratic and risks sending the message that cocoa farmers don’t deserve to make decisions about their own lives.

The Black Lives Matter protests have successfully brought the issue of violence against people of colour into mainstream conversation. Black lives matter wherever those lives are lived and reducing the already low incomes and right to self determination of some of the poorest black people in the world will be devastating.   To take and implement this decision in the middle of a global pandemic is unconscionable.

The Association which represents fair trade producers in Cote d’Ivoire have written a letter to Nestle to  ask them to reconsider. You can read more including the letter here.

You can read Joanna’s opinion piece in the i newspaper here.

Please sign the petition to Keep KitKat Fairtrade and share it widely with your networks.

Sign the petition

UPDATE; Friday 3 July – We now have over 240,000 signatures on the petition. Thank you to everyone who’s signed and shared.

The Ethical Trading Initiative published an interesting blog post about the issue. Is Nestle Building Back Worse?

Nestle has published this page on its website to deal with the issue.

My comments: Rainforest Alliance is a really good organisation, and for cocoa brands which don’t currently have any independent certification for their suppliers, it’s a good choice to ensure their farmers are Rainforest Alliance certified. Lots of farms – coffee as well as cocoa – are “triple cert” – Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance and Organic, and the majority of farmers who currently supply Nestle on Fairtrade terms will already meet Rainforest Alliance standards. From September, Rainforest Alliance will be applying new sustainability standards. This will coincide with Nestle’s move to Rainforest Alliance.

However, Nestle is moving away from the more rigorous Fairtrade certified cocoa standards to Rainforest Alliance. Having the same symbol on all your products might be tempting from a branding point of view but it doesn’t help the farmers who will be paid less for their work.

“Our aim is not only to make sure farmers receive a fair price for their cocoa but to also make sure that we are tackling key social and environmental issues including child labour and deforestation.” 

Fairtrade has always been about much much more than paying a fair price to farmers. Tackling social and environmental issues is also at the heart of Fairtrade, and tackling the endemic problem of the worst forms of child labour on West African cocoa farms has always been one of the guiding principles of Fairtrade. Rainforest Alliance’s new sustainability standards focus on child labour and deforestation after some criticism about certifications for farms which were encroaching on rainforest (ironically) in Cote d’Ivoire.

“Farmer income is based on some variables that we do not control. This includes the annual price of cocoa, which the Ivorian and Ghanaian governments will only confirm shortly before the new cocoa year begins, as well as the portion of the Fairtrade premium that the farmer receives, as this is decided by each individual cooperative. The amount we spend on premiums and investment in additional projects with the farmer cooperatives in the year ahead will significantly exceed the Fairtrade premium we would have paid.”

This is the key paragraph for the farmers who will be working with Nestle. With Fairtrade there is a minimum price for cocoa guaranteed at $2,400 per tonne. This has been calculated to cover the cost of production and applies whatever the market price for cocoa happens to be. So if Nestle really wanted to guarantee what price they pay their cocoa farmers they could continue with Fairtrade. Recently the governments of Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana introduced the Living Income Differential which adds $400 per tonne to prices paid for cocoa grown in these countries, regardless of who the buyer is. The money is put into a pot to compensate farmers when the cocoa market price falls. This will mean that the price should be more or less the same as the Fairtrade minimum for the next couple of years, but if there is another collapse like 2017 when prices dropped by 40% this will severely impact farmers.

The Fairtrade premium is paid directly to the farmer who pools it with other cocoa farmers in her community and they decide democratically how their community should best use it. There is no need to explain what they plan to do, to apply for the money. This is their money and Fairtrade understands that they know best how to spend it. The Fairtrade premium is $240 per tonne – 30% higher than the $180 per tonne Rainforest Alliance premium which Nestle says it will be paying. Nestle has committed to extra payments over the next two years but communities need to be able to rely on a steady income long term. What Nestle is proposing feels more like charity than fair trade.

The elephant in the room is sugar. Nestle has made commitments to the cocoa farmers but none to the sugar farmers. The decision to source all their sugar from European sugar beet will have a devastating effect on sugar farmers like these in Fiji whose plight Australian media are reporting.

For more information about the differences between Fairtrade and Rainforest Alliance certification – and others, you can download the International Guide to Fair Trade Labels by clicking below.



Posted on June 23rd, 2020 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

Don’t Give Up on Fairtrade in Lent

Don’t Give Up On Fairtrade this Lent
Lent is a time when many of us choose to make a small sacrifice for a few weeks. For lots of us this includes giving up chocolate, which has the added benefit of making our Easter celebrations that bit sweeter, but have you considered the impact of your choice on the millions of cocoa and sugar farmers who rely on our chocolate consumption for a living.
Fairtrade Fortnight starts on the Monday before Ash Wednesday and we’re asking you not to give up on the Fairtrade farmers this Lent. By pledging to make sure all the chocolate you eat this Lent is Fairtrade – and talking to others about your choice – you can help support farmers around the world to have a better life.

When we ask Fairtrade farmers what they want us as campaigners to do, the answer is nearly always “Buy our goods!”
So while giving up chocolate for Lent might feel like the right thing to do, it leaves cocoa (and sugar) farmers out of pocket.
So this year we’re saying “Don’t Give Up On Fairtrade this Lent”
By making sure you only eat Fairtrade chocolate in Lent – instead of giving up altogether – you can help farmers around the world.
Because the Easter message is partly that one person can save the world and Fairtrade is a way for you to be that one person.

So instead of refusing all chocolate by saying “Sorry, I’ve given up chocolate for Lent” now you can say “I’ve pledged only to eat Fairtrade chocolate during Lent” and start a conversation with someone who may not know how important Fairtrade is to farmers.

You can download our leaflet below and this Fairtrade Fortnight look out for stories from the cocoa farmers themselves to help you explain why you’re not giving up on Fairtrade this Lent. Some of these will be “storybombed” by Fairtrade campaigners and supporters, some will be in the national and local press and some will be available on the Fairtrade Foundation website and social media.

Dont Give Up on Fairtrade – download the leaflet

Posted on January 14th, 2020 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

Fair Trade Detectives

How many times have you visited a town or village and looked in vain for a cafe where you can get a Fairtrade cup of coffee or a shop selling delicious Fairtrade chocolate to satisfy your cravings? Perhaps you’re going Christmas shopping in a Yorkshire city and want to know where you can buy fair trade gifts for your loved ones. Well – at Fairtrade Yorkshire we’re here to help.

Our brand new web resource turns you into a fair trade detective – and helps you find fair trade goods wherever you are in the region.

Whenever you find fair trade goods in Yorkshire, upload the details to the website (it won’t be instant – just in case people take advantage!) and help others find the Fairtrade and fair trade goods we love.

Click here to go to the fair trade detectives website

The criteria are: it can be a shop, cafe or a regular stall for example in a church. They must be selling goods with the Fairtrade mark, or sourced from members of WFTO or BAFTS (UK Fair Trade Network).

If you’re a group wanting to promote the Fairtrade Detectives scheme at local schools and events we have pens and leaflets for you to give out. Simply contact us to order what you need.

Look for these marks.

Posted on November 1st, 2019 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News