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A Fortnight Can Make A Difference

A Fortnight Can Make A Difference


30 April 2008


The first fortnight of May (3 May – 18 May) is a time to make a real difference to the lives of disadvantaged producers by supporting Trade Aid and joining in the celebrations for this year’s Fair Trade Fortnight.

This year the international theme for the fortnight is focused on how fair trade provides environmental justice to many of the world’s disadvantaged producers. These are the people with the lightest carbon footprint, yet they are being most affected by recent changes in climate. Trade Aid is running one of their biggest campaigns yet for Fair Trade Fortnight with a strong focus on this theme.

“The global environmental movement is challenging us all to think about our impact on our planet. This fortnight, Trade Aid challenges New Zealanders to go a step further and make a real difference. When you buy Trade Aid products, you can be confident that you are doing something positive for people and the planet.” says Michelia Ward, spokesperson for Trade Aid.

This year Trade Aid has initiated an Environmental Justice campaign that runs from Fair Trade Fortnight through to World Environment Day (June 5). With Wellington named international host city for this day, Trade Aid sees no better time to focus the public on this issue of Environmental Justice.

Trade Aid’s producer partners are already being affected by this change in climate and this campaigns focus comes on the shoulders of The UN Development Programme warning that climate change would hit the world's poorest countries (including many of Trade Aid’s trading partners), raising risks of disease, destruction of traditional livelihoods and leading to huge population movements. In India and Bangladesh it is believed that 125 million people will be displaced with the rising sea levels triggered by a projected increase in global temperature during this century.

Trade Aid is organising events during this fortnight across the country. The main areas of activity include a national Junk to Green Funk online art competition, a host of local events run by Trade Aid’s 32 stores, as well as a National Art Auction on June 3 at the Wellington Town Hall. The art works for this auction have been provided by 30 regional, well-known artists with half the proceeds going to Enviroschools for environmental education.

This fortnight and every day after, you can make a difference says Ms. Ward. Trade Aid calls on all consumers to be environmental justice advocates and to change their lifestyle and shopping habits by buying carefully and considerately and choosing fairly traded products.


ENDS

Additional information about Trade Aid’s interest and participation in Fair Trade Fortnight and Environmental Justice activities:

About Trade Aid

Trade Aid is the New Zealand pioneer in fair trade and has been revolutionising trade for over 35 years. We are a not for profit organisation that believes in an alternative form of trade – a fairer form. Trade Aid is working to improve the livelihoods and well being of disadvantaged producers and speaking out for greater justice in world trade.

Trade Aid is committed to placing our trading partners, their identity, and their product at the front of all of our business activities. Trade Aid is 100% fair trade, fair trade is all that we do. Trade Aid is also active in advocating and educating within New Zealand for fairer trade and to raise awareness of trading injustices – such as the eradication of poverty and slavery.

Trade Aid’s form of trade helps to enrich, empower and transform disadvantaged producers’ lives around the world through income generation that helps to restore producers’ dignity and self reliance. This helps them send, and keep, their children in school, provides adequate housing and access to health care. Our trading structure supports social change and gives women a voice, protects the environment and creates sustainable development that enables producers to invest in their futures. Trade Aid’s form of trade gives producers hope for the future of them, their families, their communities and their countries.

Why Environmental Justice?

Environmental justice calls for recognition that the world’s poorest people have the lightest carbon footprints, yet are the people whose food security, livelihoods and homes are most threatened by climate change and environmental destruction.

Many of Trade Aid’s trading partners and producers are increasingly affected by climate change on top of their economic vulnerability. Trade Aid is organising events across New Zealand aimed at making New Zealanders think about the justice issues surrounding our current lifestyles as part of its Fair Trade Fortnight celebrations. Trade Aid promotes fair trade as an environmentally sustainable alternative to conventional trade and to encourage consumers to look at the carbon footprints of production in addition to the current trend of examining travel miles.

Trade Aid encourages the production of items that have a minimal impact on the environment while creating terms of trade that ensure that these processes remain sustainable for future generations. The cost of helping our producers with environmental sustainability is included in the fair price we pay. As such, Trade Aid’s fair trade products have a minimal environmental impact and are a good choice when looking to reduce one’s own impact on the environment.

How does Trade Aid help?
Through paying a fair price and long term relationships, fair trade puts people and the environment first. Trade Aid helps protect our world and encourages the production of items that have a minimal impact on the environment while creating terms of trade that ensure these processes remain sustainable for future generations.

- The price paid to the producer, recognises the need for a surplus that can be reinvested back into the process, reducing harmful impacts or increasing the quality of the product.

- Craft production uses traditional, handcrafted methods and skills passed down through generations reducing emissions and energy consumption.

- In the case of food products, steps towards organic production are encouraged, supported and rewarded.

- Local communal decision making about profits and production processes allows producer communities to look at the real cost of production and to consider where premiums or profits should be directed.

- The producer is supported and encouraged to consider environmental alternatives

- Producers often live where they work increasing the motivation to assess their impact on the environment.

- Products wherever possible are freighted by sea not air, reducing carbon emissions and the use of fossil fuels.

Trade Aid events:

Trade Aid is organising events across New Zealand aimed at making New Zealanders think about the justice issues surrounding our current lifestyles. The main areas of activity focus:

Schools

Education resources are available and many local schools are teaching Environmental Justice in 2008 and 2009.

Public

Fair Trade Fortnight is a fortnight of events run by local Trade Aid shops and numerous NZ NGO’s with a focus on fairer trade. For regional events check out www.tradeaid.org.nz

Artists

30 regional, well-known artists have been entered into the National Art Auction scheduled for June 3 at the Wellington Town Hall. For a full list of artists involved visit www.tradeaid.org.nz

Aspiring artists

Junk to Green Funk is an on-line art competition with 4 categories from pre-school to open where anyone of any age and skill can enter an art piece made from recycled materials. It runs from April 01 to June 5 and will be judged by a panel consisting of judges from arts and environment backgrounds. Check out the entries on-line at www.tradeaid.org.nz

Further resources and information:

For photos of our trading partners please contact julia.capon@tradeaid.org.nz for access to our extensive photo database.

For more information on Environmental Justice download the brochure from the Trade Aid website www.tradeaid.org.nz

ENDS

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