Tuesday, 11 August 2009


Thinking of fairtrade. It's interesting.... I remember being involved in fairtrade promotion events as a teenager when fairtrade was little known about and family and friends thought I was being extreme in my thinking. I remember how one relative gave me a jar of coffee every Christmas - They were very proud of themselves as they said "We know you don't approve of Nescafe because its not fairly traded so we bought you Kenco!" I think they had somewhat missed the point! I never had the heart to tell them and so I kept getting Kenco for Christmas. Even funnier was the fact that I don't actually like or drink coffee at all! In those days fairtrade was expensive and to be honest didn't taste that great... 25 years on, fairtrade is in the mainstream and comparable in price to other similar brands and in most cases tastes better.

Does anyone else remember being involved in early fairtrade events? Anyone else remember Crackerterias and Radio Cracker stations? I'm proud that the church took a strong lead on fairtrade and stuck with it in the early days so that today fairtrade is vogue and mainstream. I wonder if there are any lines of thought, radical campaigning, ways of thinking today that in twenty or thirty years time we can look back and be pleased with our early response. What might these be, or do we need to be more proactive and radical? Thoughts welcomed.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I remember participating in a short sketch in Aylesbury market place, maybe 1990, where we tore a paper penny into a decreasing segment before handing virtually nothing to the coffee producer. And a group game played to show how changing markets and tastes swamped the producer with a demand that couldn't bet met then left them with huge stocks when tastes suddenly changed or the market price dropped. As always the church was participating at the cutting edge and some very visionary people took a huge leap of faith to make a point whilst to most people looking completely foolish.