ElectricAid looks at fair trade between the developed world and the Global South as the 3rd essential leg of development. Overseas development aid, through governments and/or NGOs, is a critical pump-primer, but economies, societies and people will develop primarily through their own efforts.
These efforts are often hindered by unfair and exploitative production and trade practices – but can be seriously helped by fair trade policies. Given a level playing field, countries in the Global South can produce and trade their way forward, and benefit their own people. Economic growth rates in sub-Saharan Africa, for example, have been very high for the last 15 years.
Coincidentally, I put Ethiopian chives into an omelette I made last evening. This was probably not great from an air miles or sustainability perspective, but was a positive for commercial Ethiopian agriculture, which also produces flowers for the world market, even given the current El Nino food emergency in parts of Ethiopia. Our next post will actually be about our response to that emergency.
Fair Trade Fortnight is an annual effort to remind us all of the quality and availability of Developing World goods, produced in decent non-exploitative conditions, with a fair return. Please do have a look at the attached information, and log on to www.fairtrade.ie for more Fairtrade information.