We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started, And know the place for the first time. ~T.S. Eliot Four Quartets

23 February 2007

Change Today, Choose Fairtrade

That's the theme of this year's fairtrade fortnight, two weeks (26th Feb - 11th March) to raise public awareness about the products now available.

The number of products labelled Fairtrade is growing all the time and it is definitely getting easier to buy these things here in the UK. The idea of this fortnight celebration is to change something, even one thing, that you eat, drink or wear to fairtrade. Just some of things that can be bought fairtrade include; coffee, bananas, mangoes (and other fruits), flowers, wine, chocolate, spices, nuts, ice cream, brown basmati rice, tea, and clothing.

British clothing retailer, Monsoon has launched nine fairtrade cotton t-shirt designs in mens, womens and kids sizes. Retail giant, Marks & Spencer has also added to its range of fairtrade clothing including socks, underwear, t-shirts and babywear.

Flowers in the window... it is certainly a British thing to have flowers in the window..and its good feng shui as well. Its estimated that British consumers each spend about £28 a year on flowers, but many spend more, keeping the blooms going each week. Kenya is the largest non-Eu supplier of flowers to the UK. There are several certified fairtrade flower farms situated around Lake Naivasha in Kenya, including Finlay Farms, which is also working to operate in a sustainable way by developing a controlled wetland area to purify waste water and chemical off-flows from the farm. They are also increasing the use of hydroponic techniques to grow their flowers, thereby reducing the amount of water taken from the lake.

Currently fairtrade flowers (look for the fairtrade mark) are available in Sainsbury's, Tesco, Asda, and Morrisons.

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