Posts filed under ‘Fair trade – general’

Fair Trade in Melton Mowbray

Although Melton is a pretty small market town, it does boast its very own Fair Trade store.

The Fairtrading Post is located right in the center of things, adjacent to the market place. It is run on a very different basis to the store we had in Missouri – managed and staffed entirely by volunteers. It seems to be doing well – having just moved to a new premises giving 4 times the floor space.

We haven’t volunteered any time yet, but will do so once things have settled down a little more.

Elsewhere in the town, fair trade products are readily available in the grocery stores – much more so than we were used to in Springfield.

Melton calls itself a fair trade town – more information on that here – but in truth that makes fair trade seem more mainstream here than it actually is. Still – we can hope….

September 14, 2011 at 22:00 1 comment

the start of our new chapter

Before getting back to David’s telephone conversation, a couple of  background information “nuggets” might be useful.

Nugget #1

David’s first “proper” job after first graduating from college was with his brother Peter. Peter had earlier launched a jewellery design and manufacturing company called Vipa Designs. Like many other manufacturing businesses, jewellery has changed dramatically in the UK over the past 20 or 30 years. Most of the small to medium manufacturing companies have disappeared, and the bulk of mass manufacturing is now shipped overseas. During that time Vipa has bucked the trend and grown steadily, gaining a reputation for innovative design and high quality manufacturing whether for one-off pieces or for larger quantities.

Nugget #2

Before opening Global Fayre, we had no idea of just how complex the topic of fair trade is. Three years later, our understanding of the whole issue is deeper, but our awareness of some of the complexities is deeper too. Just what “fair trade” actually means differs widely from product to product. When something like coffee is certified as fair trade, we all know that this means that the growers have been paid a fair trade price; it doesn’t tell us anything about the importer or the roaster. Conversely, when you purchase a typical piece of fair trade jewellery, you know that the producer group that made the piece has been treated fairly, but you probably don’t know anything about how the raw materials were produced.

Nugget #3

A really exciting announcement was made in the UK this year on Valentines Day; the Fairtrade Foundation and the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM) had come together to certify the world’s first fair trade and fair mined gold. Around 15% of the world’s gold production is sourced from small scale miners, numbering around 15 million. Conditions in these small scale mines are often hazardous both to the people working there and the local environment. (more about this in a later blog). The UK initiative focuses on the three core areas of the gold supply chain: a cluster of small-scale mines, a handful of gold traders, and around 20 designer jewelers (again – more of this in a later blog).

So – nuggets over, back to that phone call.

David and Peter have often used each other as sounding boards, personally and professionally. David was doing exactly that with Peter after the closure of Global Fayre when Peter said “come and help me make this fair trade gold thing work” (or something to that effect). Vipa Designs is one of the 8 companies currently licensed to trade in fair trade gold. Quite where this will lead is not clear, but it’s exciting to find a new challenge and to be able to contribute in some way to the growth of fair trade and ethical business.

So – we’re off to England! David, Cheri and the girls are very very excited. We’ll be living near our family there in the middle of the country.

For now at least, this means that Global Fayre is on hold in terms of having an online store and doing educational work. Our hope is that once we get settled in England (we move in August) we can pick the reins back up; however that works out, we’ll keep posting here and on our facebook page. We remain just as passionate about fair trade as ever, and get a real sense that more and more people are joining us in wanting to become conscious consumers.


July 1, 2011 at 17:04 7 comments

Global Fair Trade sales up 22% in 2008

The Fair Trade Foundation just issued a report showing a 22% increase in global fair trade sales in 2008. That would be a great result anyway, but it is all the better given the general economic conditions we’re experiencing.

Fair Trade sales in the US rose 10%, but we were eclipsed in total sales for the first time by the UK, who saw a massive 43% increase in 2008.

You can check out the full report here.

July 30, 2009 at 11:23 Leave a comment

More good coverage for Fair Trade in Springfield

Global Fayre got coverage in the last edition of the Springfield Business Journal; this time it’s the turn of Karen at Anna Sophia’s.

At this rate, this Fair Trade thing might actually catch on here!

For more information on Fair Trade in general, and Global Fayre in particular, go here.

July 15, 2009 at 20:01 Leave a comment

NPR runs story on Fair Trade

It was great to hear NPR run a story on Fair Trade this morning.

The discussion was pretty limited, focusing only on tea, coffee, chocolate and bananas, but every little piece of exposure helps!

You can hear the story here.

April 20, 2009 at 13:58 Leave a comment

Global Fayre Newsletter for April 2009

We’ve finally sent out our newsletter for April.

It took a little longer this month partly because we changed the format, but mostly because David kept procrastinating!

If you don’t currently receive but want to change that, you can sign up here

April 16, 2009 at 17:35 Leave a comment

Thoughts from the Fair Trade Federation Conference in Portland Oregon

Cheri and I just got back to Springfield, after spending 5 days in Portland in the company of some of the most awe-inspiring and motivated people that I think I have ever encountered.

The occasion was the 15th Conference of the Fair Trade Federation, the trade group that brings together Fair Trade wholesalers and retailers of North America. Having been accepted as members of the FTF earlier in the year, and having never been to a conference previously (although a members-only conference on the first day, after that it is very much open to the public) we were excited to attend, but also unsure of what the event would be like, how worthwhile we would find it, and frankly whether or not we could afford to attend.

You can find out more about the events of the Conference at the FTF website (www, The whole event was pretty intense, with session after session aimed at giving the members the tools they need to keep growing, especially in the difficult economic climate. It was emotional too, with many of the members making it clear that their businesses were struggling badly, but that one thought kept them going; the need to continue providing a route to market for the thousands of artisans in countries around the world that depend on the Fair Trade movement.

It was great from a personal point of view to meet many of the people that we have been working with since opening Global Fayre in Dec 2007. In virtually every case it was the first time we had met in person.

All-in-all, the conference gave us both a renewed sense of energy, urgency and commitment to Fair Trade. See you next year in Boston!

March 31, 2009 at 22:26 Leave a comment

Global Fayre newsletter

Global Fayre issues a newsletter every month giving a taste of what has been happening in the store, and what events are coming up in the month or so ahead. PLUS we always have a Fair Trade recipe of the month, the inside scoop on new products and suppliers AND there is always a coupon at the bottom with some kind of crazy deal!

If you would like to sign up for our newsletter, click on the box below:

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March 24, 2009 at 13:07 Leave a comment

New Fair Trade products

A constant source of frustration here in the US is the relatively low number of Fair Trade certified products that are available for the consumer to purchase.

An announcement from TransFair USA today marked a welcome improvment to that situation, with a significant expansion of the number of certified products.

You can read the statement, and see the newly expanded list of products here.

You can also read more about the difference between product certification from TransFairUSA and membership of the Fair Trade Federation here.

March 9, 2009 at 14:43 Leave a comment

Fair Trade and UW-Oshkosh

For supporters of Fair Trade, there was an encouraging article in the Chicago Tribune today: “UW-Oshkosh promises to buy fair trade products”.

The essence of the story is a commitment from Chancellor Richard Wells to buy fair trade products whenever possible. He said (fair trade products) will be used in university dining, catering and department offices.

Since opening Global Fayre last December, we’ve been fortunate to meet many students from the universities in Springfield, and have been greatly encouraged by their general level of awareness of Fair Trade. Most of the universities here have embryonic Fair Trade groups, and our ambition in the short term is to help these groups join forces with like-minded members of the community to spread the Fair Trade message.

Who knows, maybe the News-Leader will be carrying a story sometime soon about one of our universities making a commitment comparable to that of UW-Oshkosh!

September 6, 2008 at 22:54 Leave a comment

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