Fairtrade sounds like an easy concept but the reality unfortunately is very different. Debenhams are committed supporters Fairtrade and here we try to increase awareness, explain the importance of the concept and how we all can help.
What is FAIRTRADE?
The Fairtrade Foundation is the independent non-profit organisation that licenses use of the FAIRTRADE Mark on products in the UK in accordance with internationally agreed Fairtrade standards. The Foundation was established in 1992. Debenhams work in partnership with Fairtrade through our Maine5G brand. The Fairtrade Foundation is a registered charity (no. 1043886). It is also a company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales (no. 2733136).
The FAIRTRADE vision?
Our vision is of a world in which justice and sustainable development are at the heart of trade structures and practices so that everyone, through their work, can maintain a decent and dignified livelihood and develop their full potential.
Our FAIRTRADE mission
The Foundation's mission is to work with businesses, community groups and individuals to improve the trading position of producer organisations in the South and to deliver sustainable livelihoods for farmers, workers and their communities by -
- being a passionate and ambitious development organisation committed to tackling poverty and injustice through trade
- using certification and product labelling, through the FAIRTRADE Mark, as a tool for our development goals
- bringing together producers and consumers in a citizens' movement for change
- being recognised as the UK's leading authority on Fairtrade
What FAIRTRADE doOur four key areas of activity are
- Providing an independent certification of the trade chain, licensing use of the FAIRTRADE Mark as a consumer guarantee on products
- Facilitating the market to grow demand for Fairtrade and enable producers to sell to traders and retailers
- Working with our partners to support producer organisations and their networks
- Raising public awareness of the need for Fairtrade and the importance of the FAIRTRADE Mark
Since we have started with Fairtrade, in very little time we have seen some major changes occurring; we have built a health centre, children no longer wander in the village because their parents can now send them to school. We are really satisfied with these outcomes. Our message to consumers; we want to keep on producing a top quality cotton and the Fairtrade Foundation must keep advertising our work so we can preserve this situation.
Debenhams & FAIRTRADE
Debenhams and the FiveG brand are committed to sourcing Fairtrade certified cotton and have bought from a number of different regions in both West Africa and India. One of the farming communities we have sourced from is in the North of Cameroon.
Sir Steve Redgrave & FAIRTRADE
Maine New England has teamed up with Sir Steve Redgrave's clothing brand, FiveG, to produce an exclusive menswear collection made from Fairtrade certified cotton available only at Debenhams. When Steve first visited Africa in 2005, he was so affected by the plight of the local people that he dedicated himself and his company, FiveG, to source only Fairtrade cotton.
In addition to the economic support Fairtrade cotton gives to the lives of cotton growers and their families in West Africa and India, FiveG also raises funds for the Steve Redgrave Trust.