Fairtrade Fortnight 2023 in Ludlow

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Written byLaura Perratt

Fairtrade Fortnight in Ludlow is back! From 27 February to 12 March 2023, Fairtrade Fortnight will spotlight the harmful effect of the climate crisis on the future of our food. 

Did you know that cocoa, bananas, and coffee are at risk? We take these foods for granted, but climate change, combined with deeply unfair trade, means that the communities growing these crops are being pushed to the brink. 

Ludlow prides itself on being a “foodie” town, boasting a wealth of independent cafes, delicatessens, restaurants, pubs, greengrocers, cheesemongers and shops selling high-quality, locally sourced produce. We are fortunate to be surrounded by beautiful countryside and have a strong agricultural community. 

With the climate crisis making the headlines, shoppers are becoming more conscientious about where their food comes from and how it is produced. Quite rightly, we place high importance on the welfare and rights of the farming community, buying from them directly rather than from supermarkets, where we can’t always guarantee that farmers are paid fairly.

This is applaudable, and we should take pride in our local food scene. What we should pay attention to, however, is that we still import much of our food. This means that the community of farmers we rely on goes far beyond our county borders.

When we ask ourselves, “who grew my food?” do we picture small-scale farmers in remote communities in Columbia, Ghana, Ecuador and Costa Rica? These are the people who grow many of our favourite products, and without them, our shelves would look much barer. And yet, these communities are already facing extreme hardship due to unfair trade and feeling the worst effects of climate change: increasingly extreme weather, more frequent plant disease and more insecure food supplies.

This Fairtrade Fortnight, the Ludlow Fairtrade Town Group ask you to join the campaign to make a difference in these communities and save our favourite foods.

Woman farmer planting and picking coffee from her farm Photo: iStock

We can make a difference through our shopping choices. For example, when we choose food that’s fairly traded, such as certified Fairtrade, we can guarantee that the producer has been paid fairly and that the product has been grown in an environmentally friendly way. We’re also supporting a move towards trade and climate justice, saying “no” to the deep inequalities and harmful practices rooted in our current trade system.

In Ludlow, you can buy Fairtrade (or fairly traded) staples such as tea, coffee, sugar, bananas, chocolate, rice, wine and snacks from local, independent shops such as Myriad and Broad Bean, as well as in supermarkets such as Tesco, Co-op, Sainsbury’s and Aldi. Just look out for the Fairtrade mark, or ask the store owner where the product comes from, who grew it, and how it was grown. Shops which sell Fairtrade-certified products will display the Ludlow Fairtrade window sticker.

Whatever our budget and wherever we shop, by making the small switch to fair trade, we can all support producers in protecting the future of some of our most-loved food and the planet.

If you’re unsure where to start, Fairtrade Fortnight is the perfect time to give it a go. The Ludlow Fairtrade Town Group have organised several activities and events to provide more information about fair trade and climate justice and an opportunity to sample and buy delicious, ethically sourced food.

What’s on in Ludlow

Thursday, 23 February, 10 am – 2 pm: Traidcraft stall @ Ludlow Produce Market: The monthly Traidcraft stall will have a range of ethical products and a chance to learn more about Fairtrade and climate justice.

Wednesday 1 March, St Peter’s Parish Centre, 6.30 pm – 8 pm: Join the Ludlow Fairtrade Town Group and Ludlow 21 for a delicious, Climate Friendly Supper with a Fairtrade theme. Make and share your favourite plant-based recipes using ethically sourced ingredients where possible, and learn more about Fairtrade and climate justice. Contact Kim Holroyd for more information: kimholroyd@gmail.com 

Saturday, 11 March, Ludlow Mascall Centre, 10 am – 4 pm: The annual Traidcraft Spring Fair and Big Brew are back. Explore a treasure trove of beautiful, fairly traded food, crafts, clothes and gifts. Enjoy a cup of Fairtrade tea and a slice of homemade cake as you browse.

Sunday 12th March, Parish Church of St Laurence, all day: There’s a Fairtrade theme at the Parish Eucharist (10 am), followed by the second Traidcraft stall and Big Brew of the weekend (11 am – 1 pm). A Fairtrade Fortnight Special will be at the informal Living Room gathering from 3.30 pm – 5 pm. All are welcome, of all faiths or none.

Throughout Fairtrade Fortnight, look out for our special stickers, which draw attention to “endangered” products – those at risk due to climate change. 

For more information on Fairtrade in Ludlow, visit ludlowfairtrade.com or email ludlowfairtrade@gmail.com. To get involved in wider Fairtrade Fortnight activities such as online Great Big Get Togethers, visit www.fairtrade.org.uk