The FAIRTRADE Mark is one of the most recognised product certification labels in the UK. But what does it actually mean? Watch the film to find out how M&S Fairtrade cotton makes a difference.
Basically, Fairtrade helps small-scale cotton farmers in developing countries to invest in their communities, by guaranteeing them a fair and stable price and a Fairtrade Premium for investment in community development projects.
In the Kita region of Mali, Africa, the Fairtrade Premium has been used for digging wells to provide access to clean drinking water and to build a storage facility for grain. Just by having a dry secure warehouse, the community is no longer forced to sell its excess crops, and can store vital fertilisers and seed, too.
In the village of Dougourakoroni, also in the Kita region, the cotton producers co-operative has used the Fairtrade Premium (on top of the Fairtrade price that we pay for their cotton) to build a block of two classrooms, with a further two planned for the following year. This has helped to persuade the government to pay for four more to be built.
"Fairtrade makes a real difference. You'll find Fairtrade cotton products ranging from lingerie vests and kidswear to bedlinen."
Another Fairtrade standard is guaranteeing more involvement for women, at every level. Binto Dambile, Board Member of the Union of Cotton Producing Co-operatives in Mali says, “Before, the women were not invited, not asked, not consulted. We were sad. We are pleased now we are included at the same level as the men. We know that men can’t do everything without us. Women are valued now.”
Fairtrade makes a real difference. You'll find Fairtrade cotton products ranging from lingerie vests and kidswear to bedlinen. You’ll even find Fairtrade wine at your M&S. Click here to see the range – remember, every Fairtrade product you buy will help farmers and workers in developing countries to invest in their communities.
To join in Fairtrade Fortnight 2011 Show Off Your Label, go to http://www.fairtrade.org.uk/show_off_your_label
We're delighted that Joanna Lumley is supporting our Shwopping campaign to help Oxfam, find out how to get involved here.