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Trading for a fairer world

20A Upper Brook Street, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP4 1EB

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Supermarkets Drop Fairtrade

Sainsburys and Tesco have both recently announced that they are dropping the internationally recognised, independent certification scheme Fairtrade in favour of their own internal “fairly traded” scheme.  There has been wide criticism in the press for this move which is seen as a self serving measure in pursuit of cost saving and nothing to do with helping third world producers.   Major charities - Oxfam, CAFOD, Christian Aid and others - have criticised Sainsburys over this move and there are a number of on-line petitions calling on Sainsburys to stick to Fairtrade.  These recent moves follow hot on the heels from Mondelez, Cadbury’s parent company, announcing late last year that it would be abandoning Fairtrade certification in favour of its own internal scheme Cocoa Life.

Disposable Coffee Cups

Recently, there have been several items in the media about the disposable coffee cups commonly used by the high street coffee companies.  Did you know, whilst these are technically able to be recycled, and are claimed by the suppliers as being recyclable, the fact is that because they are lined with polyethylene, the card and the plastic cannot be separated other than in two recycling plants in the UK and neither of these actually processes any such cups.  In the UK alone, we use nearly 2.5 billion of these cups every year, and as they cannot practically be recycled, they are produced as a single use item, before being thrown away in landfill or incinerated.  

Plastic Awareness - Use Less Plastic

Responding to a growing consumer awareness and demand, the Ipswich Fair Trade Shop is increasing its range of environmentally friendly products in addition to its traditional Fair Trade products.  Its not too long ago that “refill” was standard practice - milk bottles, beer bottles, fizzy drinks were all returned to the retailer and a deposit refund was given.  Since then, plastic took over and refill fell out of practice.  In more recent times, and partly in response to programmes like Blue Planet, there is a growing awareness of plastic pollution and in a move to encourage re-use and reduce the consumption of plastic, we are pleased to have increased our stock of products that can now be purchased in our shop for you to take home in your own containers.  Our range now includes liquid cleaner, shampoo, conditioner, antic-bac handwash, body wash, washing up liquid, laundry liquid (both bio and non-bio), fabric conditioner and hand soap.  All these products are sold by capacity to refill your own containers.  Simply bring your  own empty plastic bottle into the shop rather than bin it and we will refill it  for you.  Our newest supplier, SESI  (Sustainable Ethical Supplies Initiative) is a social enterprise supplier which specialises in refillable and reusable products.  You can read more about SESI on our suppliers page.  Click here for our current refill price list.

One way to help in this matter, and to avoid the proposed “latte levy”  that the government plans to introduce, is to purchase a refillable cup.  These cups have proved to be very popular and we have a range in stock, made from sustainable and recyclable rice husks.  These are compostable after use and form part of our increasing Eco range of products.  Why not buy one and get your favourite coffee shop to refill it for you?  You will get a discount on the price of the coffee and you can use it over and over.  When it does eventually wear out, it will naturally bio-degrade.  Your coffee will taste better too with no taste of plastic.  Various sizes and designs are available and they will make an ideal gift.

We have also extended our range of Eco products to include beeswax  food wrap as a re-usable and ecologically friendly alternative to cling film, plastic food bags and aluminium foil, allowing you to reduce your use of one time plastic and reduce your consumption of energy-intensive and emissions-heavy foil.

These wraps are hand made in Suffolk and are available in a variety of pretty colours, designs and sizes.  Why not pop in and have a look?

Ipswich Evening Star Article

The Ipswich Fair Trade shop recently featured in an  Ipswich Evening Star newspaper article.  Margaret Fish, one of our co-founders and directors, was interviewed by Archant reporter David Vincent.  As David observes, “Despite tough times for retail in the High Street some shops are benefiting from a growing concern for the ethics of production.”  

You can read the article, which included a short video taken in the shop, on the Ipswich Star web site by clicking here.  Alternatively you can download the article as a pdf file by clicking  here.

The FAIRTRADE Mark on products means that international Fairtrade Standards have been met. Choosing products with this Mark supports marginalised farmers and workers to build a better future for themselves through trade.

For further information visit or click on the adjacent Mark.

For all those interested in genuine, internationally certified and recognised Fairtrade products, please be assured that the Ipswich Fair Trade Shop will continue to support the third world developers by  stocking and selling certified products.  Our wide range of certified foodstuffs can be inspected at our shop in Upper Brook Street - teas, coffee, chocolate, sugar and much more available in store.  Why not visit us to make the purchases that you would previously have made at the supermarket?

How Fairtrade is Tackling the Climate Crisis

With 2020 set to be the hottest year on record, it’s more important than ever that our community stands with the farmers and workers on the front line of the climate crisis.   

Choosing Fairtrade is one really important way we can do that as the new film from the Fairtrade Foundation explains.  

Nestle and Fair Trade Cocoa

KitKat has severed its ties with Fairtrade, despite the organisation behind the scheme warning that thousands of farmers would be hit by the move. The boss of Fairtrade said Nestle’s decision to cut its 10-year association with the non-profit organisation was “profoundly disappointing”.  The Swiss-owned food giant said it would now source its cocoa for KitKat bars from farms on Rainforest Alliance terms instead of those working with Fairtrade accreditation.  Nestle, which already uses Rainforest Alliance-certified farmers on other bars such as Aero and Yorkie, said it would start the new partnership for KitKat from October.  The Fairtrade label guarantees that the farmers behind a product get a set minimum price as well as a financial bonus, and is seen a on a wide range of products including chocolate, coffee and bananas.  

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