By Pam Marsden
MEMBERS of Stokes Bay WI had a wonderful talk, for their seventh birthday meeting, delivered by Sarah Hirom, co-ordinator of the Gosport group for Fairtrade. She joined the event to explain the process of fair trade, which we often hear about but soon realised we knew very little.
The dictionary definition of ‘fair’ is treating people equally without favouritism or discrimination and that’s precisely what Sarah explained. It’s putting 1.5 million farmers and workers in the developing world in greater control of their lives. It’s done through better prices, decent working conditions and a fairer deal for all.
As our President, Angela MacCallum, commented: “We were better able to appreciate that we all have some positive choices we can make when shopping. Fairtrade quality is good so why wouldn’t we want families in those developing communities to have a better standard of living in an eco-acceptable way?”
The points made included: using environmentally friendly methods that encourage reforestation with no toxic chemicals; respect for human rights with no child labour; and a living income for
women that helps provide for their children’s education and healthcare.
Sarah suggested that by doing our part in buying Fairtrade in Gosport we were all doing something constructive to help the situation for everyone. We heard stories about farmers and their co-workers, who we could relate to, and felt encouraged that there was something each of us could do to make a positive difference.
After that, it was a small celebration for our birthday with iced biscuits shaped into a ‘7’ plus a glass of bubbly and we left, enthused, to buy Fairtrade products such as chocolate and coffee. The next meeting of Stokes Bay WI promises to be tasty, too, with demonstrations of canapes!
PICTURED: Sarah Hirom, of Fairtrade, with President of Stokes Bay WI Angela MacCallum