This year I celebrated Fairtrade Fortnight 2021 alone shielding in London, UK.
This year the Fairtrade Foundation's campaign focussed on Climate Change.
Many thanks to all fairtrade farmers, fairtrade organisations, volunteers and The Fairtrade Foundation team for making this virtual online festival an amazing success, and motivating campaigners like myself to learn and do more. :)
In this blog I explain how Fairtrade supports the Sustainable Development Goals and how I have attempted to implement them in my everyday work and life.
I have concentrated on the following SDG's, SDG1, SDG2, SDG5, SDG8, SDG10, SDG12, SDG13, SDG16 and SDG17.
I was pleasantly surprised to receive an email from Alex Schmidt from Valy Export Madagascar mid April.
I invited him and his wife Marie Louise for lunch to learn more about their fair trade business.
This May I received my certificate for the Future Learn MOOC
' Make Change Happen' with Oxfam and the Open University.
I embraced Ramadan 2019 and
celebrated World Fair Trade Day 2019.
WORLD FAIR TRADE DAY - DUBAI, UAE
This years World Fair Trade Organization campaign was 'Fairtrade Innovates',
I am very grateful to the amazing M.E.S.H team and the ever graceful Moon Sharma for their time, love and hospitality during my visit to Dehli mid April 19.
It was an absolute pleasure and honour to meet with Moon Sharma of Tara Projects.
Apa (Big Sister) as she is lovingly known spent an evening talking about her travels around the world, Tara Projects, fairtrade and shared stories of Gateshead and Newcastle.
Apa! Thank you so much for your kindness, time and beautiful gifts.
It was a dream come true to final land in the native country of my parents birth, India.
I arrived in Dehli and was greeted by a beautiful warm evening.
What followed was one of the most memorable weeks of my life.
I met distant family and visited two World Fair Trade Certified Organizations, M.E.S.H and Tara Projects.
Many thanks to Mathew K and Ms Moon Sharma for their time.
Despite struggling with my shoulders I completed my Six Items Challenge for the eighth consecutive year.
I interviewed Alex and Marie-Louise of Valy Export, Madagascar.
So here I am for the seventh consecutive year I'm participating in the Six Items Challenge with Labour Behind The Label.
This year the challenge commences 6th March - 18th April March 2019.
I have decided to participate and support the Six Items Challenge for the eighth year because I started to campaign for garment and factory workers while caring for my mother who had been diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer.
The six items challenge means I choose six items of clothing to wear for six weeks.
This does not include under garments or exercise gear. You can wear an endless supply of these. :)
This June I collapsed at the end of Ramadan and required urgent IVs for iron, glucose and vitamins. Betathalasemia minor is pain!
During the final week of June I traveled to Thailand to visit Sister Louise of the Good Shepherd Sisters Bangkok and Mr Stephen Salmon of the Heritage Crafts and Cafe, (ThaiCraft) Bangkok, Thailand.
Many thanks to Sister Louise and Mrs Salmon for taking time out of their busy schedules to talk about their pioneering work.
The FIG Tree Garstang/Lancaster, United Kingdom
I first visited The Fig Tree October 2011 when it was a mere shell and was invited to a fair trade tea party, August 2012.
The enthusiasm, passion and the warm welcome I received was overwhelming and humbling. I was impressed by its amazing transformation.
I revisited The Fig Tree November 2016 where I was invited to participate in a Chocolate Master Class with the Godfather of Fairtrade Bruce Crowther MBE.
I fulfilled a life time ambition to visit Pakistan December 2011 and February 2015 and met the only two fair trade certified organisations in Karachi and Rawalpindi.
I also conducted interviews with a government official and non profit organisations who are working towards implementing the ten principles of fair trade. Each organisation has a dual role and purpose;
1. to support rural artisans establish and develop strong sustainable projects and
2. revive traditional skills and techniques.
I have attached interviews with Fairtrade and NGO's I visited during December January 2011/12 and February/March 2015.
THE DOMINION TRADERS
THE RA'ANA LIAQUAT CRAFTMEN'S COLONY
THE HOME BASED WOMEN'S WORKERS FEDERATION
AHAN - AIK HUNAR AIK NAGAR
KAARVAN CRAFTS - PRIDE PAKISTAN
AL FALAH TRUST AND EMBROIDERY PROJECT
KAARVAN CRAFTS - PRIDE PAKISTAN
Kaarvan's mission is to be a fairtrade market leader by producing and retailing affordable and sophisticated hand crafted products in local and export markets.
It provides employment opportunities and marketing and advisory services to women and girls in low income communities so that they can enhance their economic realities.
AHAN - AIK HUNAR AIK NAGAR
Ahan is a non profit company created by the Pakistani Industrial Corporation in 2006.
It has 4 offices based in Lahore, Peshawar, Quetta and Karachi.
It aims to provide employment for small marginalised craftsman and artisans around Pakistan.
It works to revive traditional handicrafts through skill enhancement, product development, technological output, quality control and market and financial support.
As a passionate advocate for fairtrade and ethical slow fashion I decided to enroll on the Future Learn 'Who Made Your Clothes?' Course with the University of Exeter.
This online course is free but you can receive a certificate and unlimited access to resources and materials for $39 which is approximately £30 depending on the exchange rate.
I thoroughly enjoyed the course and my participation with all the other candidates.
I also enrolled on the second course Social Enterprise: Turning Ideas into Action.
Lesson 3.11, all participants were asked to submit a video about their social enterprise and enter the International Social Innovation Challenge 2016.
I won my social pitch and would like to congratulate Palma Milicevic and Emma Butler who were awarded consultancy and support.
Thank you to all the candidates who entered and voted for me.
Many thanks to Dr Sara Calvo, Jeremy Wade and all the other mentors.
Best wishes to everyone with their social enterprises.
For the sixth consecutive year I'm participating and supporting Labour Behind The Label and their innovative concept raising awareness about fast fashion by fasting for fashion.
The Six Items Challenge simply means that for six weeks I will be wearing six items of every day clothing, don't worry I am entitled to an endless supply of undergarments and exercise gear.
I care about the millions of countless individuals producing clothes and accessories in factories and workshops around the world who deserve a decent living wage and good working conditions.
If you would like to participate or support Labour Behind The Label's work click to read more.