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Fairtrade Jersey
Encouraging the growth of Fairtrade by increasing the knowledge and use of Fairtrade products in Jersey
Fairtrade Jersey
Encouraging the growth of Fairtrade by increasing the knowledge and use of Fairtrade products in Jersey

Fairtrade is about much more than a fair wage for a fair day’s work. It is about longterm contracts that provide security to very poor farmers, empowering them to invest in their livelihoods and plan for the future.

It is about training them to improve their agricultural practices and teaching them how to manage their finances and develop their business skills.

But it is also about respect for nature and care for the environment, growing food naturally and sustainably and not depending on artificial fertilisers and toxic pesticides to boost production.

Many Fairtrade farmers are forest dwellers with small holdings of just a few acres and very little in the way of resources. Often they find themselves in competition with large corporations that exploit the land and then move on.

One product that is attracting a lot of attention in the media is palm oil, which has fast become the most widely consumed vegetable oil on the planet, and is found in many prepared foods sold in supermarkets.

Destruction of the rainforest to expand vast plantations of palm trees has become a major political issue in southeast Asia as these affected areas are also the natural habitat of beautiful creatures like the orang utan, literally the “old man of the forest” which are rapidly facing extinction.

Palm oil is used in the manufacture of many popular chocolate brands and with a developing market for chocolate in India and other fast-growing economies the demand for palm oil is increasing at an alarming rate. Because palm oil plantations are a monoculture they destroy biodiversity  and contribute to pollution of the environment and  erosion of the soil, exacerbating the effects of climate change. 

If our love of chocolate threatens the future of some of the world’s most iconic creatures what can we do to protect the rainforest and save the orang utan? Well, some Fairtrade  chocolate is made naturally using cocoa butter instead of palm oil and you can find it in supermarkets and stores in Jersey and also in the Oxfam Shop.

Next time you go shopping please make Fairtrade your choice, whether you are buying chocolate or wine, tea or coffee, bananas or brazil nuts. You have the power to change things for the better,  for the poor farmers of the world that grow the things that we cannot grow in Jersey, for the creatures that live in the forests that are threatened by palm oil production and for the conservation of biodiversity and the well-being of the world that we share together.

We are delighted to congratulate Jersey College for Girls and JCG Preparatory School on both becoming the first Jersey Fairtrade Schools. These are still the only schools in Jersey that have achieved this status and we recognise this success by ensuring that any VIP Fairtrade visitors to the island make it a priority to visit these schools to discuss Fairtrade with the students and teachers. Greg Valerio will certainly include the two schools in his visit in March to speak about Fairtrade Gold.

For more information about the Fairtrade Schools programme go to www.schools.fairtrade.org.uk 

In August 2012 we were delighted to hear that our Fairtrade Island Status, first granted in 2005, had been renewed. We held a celebration event on Tuesday November 27th at St Pauls Centre. It was attended by Chief Minister Senator Ian Gorst, who was important in our renewal bid. Also present was former Senator Jean Le Maistre, who initiated our original application.

A very welcome letter was received from the Fairtrade Foundation on August 20th, 2012 confirming the renewal of our Fairtrade Island status. The process of renewal requires submission of progress achieved in the Island of Jersey in developing support for Fairtrade by government, businesses, schools and churches and in the community. A set of goals for the future was also agreed.  

Two notes  of the points that Harriet made

On Tuesday, September 21st, the long-awaited visit by Harriet Lamb, Chief Executive of the Fairtrade Foundation