Fair Trade Fortnight is a campaign run by Fairtrade Canada to promote awareness and encourage participation in the Fair Trade movement. The campaign runs from May 1st to 15th so read on to learn a little more as to why we have committed to serving fairly traded coffee, tea and chocolate. Along with these three products, Fair Trade Canada also recognizes and certifies the following categories of products: cotton, flowers, fruit, gold, grains, nuts and oils, spices and herbs, sports balls, sugar, tea, and wine.
Fair Trade is an alternative trading practice with a humane purpose: to help family farmers in developing countries gain direct access to international markets, as well as to develop the business capacity necessary to compete in the global marketplace. Fair Trade provides a minimum price to farmers to cover the costs of sustainable production. Farmers are also guaranteed a Fair Trade premium that they can invest in their community (e.g. healthcare, education, processing facilities). Coffee producers within the fair-trade system are organized into democratic co-operatives (or associations) which they own and govern. A democratic governing body is elected and they decide how best to invest the premium.
Coffee shrubs take three to five years to yield fruit which makes coffee farmers particularity vulnerable to the volatile international market. Fair Trade is an alternative to the conventional coffee markets. Since opening our Roastery last June, we have bought from 19 different coffee co-ops, 17 of which were brand new relationships for us. We roast about 6,000 lbs a week, that’s about the annual production of one to two small coffee farms and about 200,000 cups of coffee!
Around 90% of the Western tea market is dominated by seven transnational corporations. These corporations control every step of tea’s supply chain – from harvest to distribution. For the past decade, Fair Trade has been providing another option for tea growers. Bridgehead buys tea from growers in India, China, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Sudan and various gardens in South Africa.
Since 1981, Bridgehead has followed international Fair Trade principles and has selected partners that are committed to them.