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August 9, 2009

Ombudsman to discipline supermarket bullies

by David Masters
Fairtrade

Anti-poverty groups and farmers' unions have welcomed calls from the Competition Commission for an independent Ombudsman to be appointed to oversee supermarkets' treatment of suppliers. Supermarkets would be forced to foot the £5 million annual bill for the Ombudsman, who would seek to protect suppliers from exploitation. With the Competition Commission's request officially submitted to the government, it is up to Peter Mandelson's Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) to install ...





June 3, 2009

Direct Mail recycle and RIP

by Alan Harten
Fairtrade

The face of advertising is changing with the times, and direct mail advertisements are expected to reduce in the coming months as companies are expected to spend 39% less on mail adverts according to Patricio Robles, a reporter from Econsultancy. In the past, direct advertising was used as a format to target customers, but with the advancement of the internet age businesses are investing more on email and pay per click ...





May 28, 2009

Humble cuckoo, latest UK bird victim

by Alan Harten
Fairtrade

It seems one too many birds may have flown over the cuckoo’s nest, as the cuckoo is now a member of the UK’s red list which contains the birds who are considered close to extinction. The cuckoo, which is historically a summer migratory bird, has dropped severely in numbers each season and by almost 37% within the past 15 years. Conservationists are alarmed in general about the amount of birds that have ...





May 19, 2009

Conference on fair trade begins

by Alan Harten
Fairtrade

Sunday marked the beginning of a five day conference for members of the International World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO). The global economy is set to be a hot topic as members discuss the current downturn and how bankers’ indiscipline and unfair trading has been at the root of the problems. Also on the objective list is to how to proceed with careful monitoring, development, and assessment of fair trade working as undertaken by award winning companies. Chief Guest, Dr. RH ...





May 7, 2009

Human rights protesters gatecrash Primark opening

by David Masters
Fairtrade

Social justice activists protested about the opening of a new Primark clothes store in London this week, criticising the store's unfair pay of overseas workers. Protesters from campaign group War on Want gathered outside the newly opened Tooting Primark store on Saturday, and were joined by local residents, members of the general public, and staff from ethical fashion company People Tree. "End sweatshop slavery", read the protesters' placards, highlighting the face that ...





April 28, 2009

Businesswoman sets up eco-shop during recession

by David Masters
Fairtrade

It's a brave entrepreneur who sets up a business during these times of economic turmoil, but that's exactly what Abi Billinge has done in Cornwall on the south west coast of England. Ecoco is an eco-shop selling locally produced fair trade jewellery and clothing. Opened this month, Ecoco aims to showcase local artistic talent. "Everything we do is about Cornwall and supporting local designer makers and retailers," Billinge said. "I’m keen to champion new, ...





April 22, 2009

Tesco and Primark accused of profiting from poverty

by David Masters
Fairtrade

Social justice charity, War on Want, has slammed leading British retailers Tesco and Primark for cashing in on the credit crunch by selling cheap clothes made by exploited, overseas sweatshop workers. Employees that make clothes for the two high street firms are paid as little as £13.97 per month, whilst the average workers' pay is just £19.16 per month, War on Want revealed. This is compared to the £44.82 per month that ...





April 14, 2009

New green Mars Bar on the way

by Alan Harten
Fairtrade

Mars bar fans will soon be enjoying a greener and more responsibly made product according to the US manufacturer. The company plans to use ingredients, such as cocoa, that are renewable, in all its chocolate sweets by 2020. Mars said these measures will not lead to an increase in its products' prices in spite of the millions of dollars the company will have to spend. The first product to be made this ...





March 31, 2009

British tourism told to get greener

by David Masters
Fairtrade

Tourism must become more sustainable and eco-friendly if it is to have a long term future, tourism minister Barbara Follett said this week. Speaking at the launch of the government's new sustainable tourism framework for England, Follett said the tourism industry is as responsible as everyone else for combating climate change. "All of us must try to behave in a more environmentally responsible way and the tourism industry is no exception," Ms ...





March 9, 2009

Cadbury’s Dairy Milk awarded fairtrade certification

by David Masters
Fairtrade

Cadbury's Dairy Milk chocolate bars are to be certified Fairtrade. It is the first mass-market chocolate brand to adopt the Fairtrade mark, and signals how important ethical credentials have become for consumers. Three hundred million Dairy Milk bars will be certified Fairtrade by the end of the summer, at a cost of £1.5 million. Cadbury is also making its packaged cocoa Fairtrade. Todd Stitzer, Cadbury chief executive, said: "If there are only small players ...





World goes bananas for record attempt

by David Masters
Fairtrade

Fairtrade campaigners around the globe have attempted a new world record for the highest number of fairtrade bananas being eaten in a 24-hour period. More than 300,000 people signed up to the attempt, promising to eat a banana in the 24-hours up to noon on Saturday. Residents in two fairtrade towns came together across the Atlantic via video-link for the record attempt. People in Garstang, Lancashire; and Media, Pennsylvania; watched each other eat ...





March 6, 2009

IKEA launches solar-powered garden lights

by David Masters
Fairtrade

Furniture store IKEA has released its first solar powered product: garden lights. The SOLIG outdoor lights collect the sun's energy during the day to recharge their batteries. At night they light up, 'adding ambience to your evening entertaining'. SOLIG lights are weather resistant and come in a variety of different shapes, including hanging batons that hang in trees, lanterns that peg into the ground, and circle-shaped path lights. The LED bulbs inside ...





World Bank gives Brazil cash to stop logging

by Alan Harten
Fairtrade

The World Bank has approved a $1.3 billion loan to assist Brazil in cutting deforestation in the Amazon basin and increase sources of renewable energy. The loan will be made available in two parts, the second $500 million tranche being made available after reaching targets for Brazil that merge environmental improvements with speedier growth in the economy, the World Bank said. A third of the planet's tropical rain forests are in ...





March 2, 2009

Support fairtrade with ethical investments

by David Masters
Fairtrade Money

Fairtrade is more than simply buying ethical produce, price comparison website Fairinvestment.co.uk- is encouraging people to support Fairtrade by investing their money in ethical companies. Ethical banks, such as Triodos or the Co-operative Bank, support Fairtrade through the companies they invest in and through microfinance. Ethical investments involve not investing money in companies that support the arms trade, animal cruelty, or environmental degradation. Companies that ignore the human rights of workers are also ...





February 27, 2009

Fairtrade Fortnight celebrations underway

by David Masters
Fairtrade

Fairtrade Fortnight 2009 started this week with events around the country set to highlight the importance of buying fairtrade. Bolton Wanderers football club has organised a banana eating event with 1,500 local schools. Children from the schools will visit Bolton's football stadium on 2 March and simultaneously eat Fairtrade bananas - raising Fairtrade awareness and aiming to break the world record for the largest number of people in one location ...





February 25, 2009

NYPD deploys hybrid patrol cars

by David Masters
Fairtrade

New York City Police Department (NYPD) plans to deploy 40 hybrid patrol cars within the next week. Vehicle of choice, the Nissan Altima hybrid, runs at 35 miles per gallon - twice as efficient as the NYPD's current fleet of Crown Victorias and Chevy Impalas. NYPD has spent $1.1 million on the new cars. Eighteen will be used as standard patrol vehicles, whilst the rest will be unmarked. Top speed of the ...





Ecolabel expansion backed by MEPs

by David Masters
Fairtrade

Eco-labelling should be simplified and expanded to cover more products, according to a group of MEPs. The European Parliament's Environment Committee has backed proposals by the European Commission to give ecolabels to all products with an impact on energy use, including windows, insulation materials, and water-using devices. In addition, they said that the Ecolabel should be made simpler and less costly to use. Small and medium sized businesses should have better access to ...





February 23, 2009

Lampposts controlled by mobile phone

by David Masters
Fairtrade

Small towns in Germany are cutting back on their energy bills by switching off street lights at 9pm. Local residents can turn on the lights later, if needed, using their mobile phone. Dial4Light enables residents to light up any street for 15 minutes by making a simple phone call and entering an access code. Codes are listed online, and displayed on street lamps Residents pay for the phone call, whilst the town ...





February 16, 2009

Olympics 2016 could be 100% green powered

by David Masters
Fairtrade

The 2016 Olympics could be powered using only green energy if Tokyo wins the bidding race to host the games. Tokyo's metropolitan government has pledged that all Olympic-related facilities will be powered using electricity from 'green energy' sources if the International Olympic Committee (IOC) chooses their city for the 2016 summer games. The green energy promise includes electricity generated using wind power, solar power, waste incineration, and other energy sources that do ...





January 15, 2009

Shoppers call for fair trade watchdog

by David Masters
Fairtrade

Eight in ten UK shoppers want a watchdog appointed to ensure that supermarkets treat suppliers fairly, and to penalise those which don't, a new survey has revealed. In the YouGov poll, commissioned by Traidcraft, 81% of shoppers branded supermarket tactics, such as paying suppliers less than agreed, 'unacceptable'. Most shoppers (59%) said they would consider switching supermarkets if they found out that these tactics were used by their main supermarket. Seventy eight ...





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