The Fair Trade Way - Food heroes on the move
Charles Price Campaigner and shop volunteer, Manchester
4th Oct 2012
My food heroes are a combination of settings, places, paths and people and is called The Fair Trade Way - a part of which I walked along this August.
What is the Fair Trade Way?
This long distance, ninety odd mile route between Garstang and Keswick is especially heroic as each town it passes through is a designated fair trade town and each town is recognised to be a champion of the fair trade philosophy. The importance of highlighting and promoting the underlying ethos behind fair trade cannot be understated as it seeks to provide real and fair commensurate value to traded commodities such as sugar, tea, coffee and cocoa beans. In actual terms, it provides a course
for what I would describe as proper and ethical exchange of trade that sees local farmers receiving a fair financial recognition for their produce, ensuring they are able to earn a decent wage and livelihood for themselves, their families, in their communities.
After the 2008 'Eureka' moment of Bruce Crowther, a long standing Fair Trade and Oxfam campaigner, the Fair Trade Way was conceived on the back of the three related local themes of fair trade, the Atlantic slave trade and the Quakers. Its core purpose, as a trail linking fair trade towns in the North West of England, is to "promote the positive impact that using Fairtrade products can have on the lives of people who suffer whilst they produce the resources that we in the more wealthy countries consume in our everyday
Why The Fair Trade Way?
As an exercise in promoting the beneficial impact of fair trade, it's both an exciting and innovative idea and one that incorporates the simplicity of walking and the relative ease of undertaking small steps or changes to your weekly shopping. The Fair Trade Way is a classically simplistic idea, that doesn't take too much consideration or effort to impact positively on other peoples' lives and livelihoods. It's a
great walk towards sustainability and there's only a few number of things I enjoy more than loading up the Bergen and tent and roaming the land, rain and shine!!
For myself, it's about the ethical sourcing and purchasing of every day commodities and for me, that's tea!! I love my tea, dark with sugars, and knowing that a local farmer would directly benefit from me making that particular fair trade purchase, makes it all the better.
You can walk the Fair Trade Way yourself or create your own version near to you! www.fairtradeway.org.uk