Fairtrade is for local producers too: Blog Post

    When we think of fairtrade, coffee and chocolate from Africa and South America often come to mind, with farmers receiving fair prices and terms, but fairtrade has a very relevant role to play in the UK and in our area, the Tamar Valley too.

    Fairtrade Fortnight starts today and does a great job at promoting the benefits of fairtrade and the stories of the many growers involved in the movement across the world. 

    Despite the success of the movement globally, supermarkets constantly pressurise farmers to maintain unrealistic prices, where often the labour and costs involved do not cover the price the farmer receives, leaving the farming industry with constant financial battles and an uncertain future.

    Without the incentive of fair prices and the guarantee of a good living, we risk young people not taking up farming as a job or seeing horticulture as a viable career option.

    A further decline in UK food production, will see more dependency on imports from large scale European farms and at the same time, a loss of culture, landscape management and a vital part of UK industry.

    Although Tamar Grow Local is a small organisation, the issues we want to help tackle are big! In our corner of Cornwall and West Devon we are working with small producers to provide a modern and fair system that is producer led,  helping small producers sell online to a wider geographical area than they may already be delivering too.

    Tamar Valley Food Hubs is a truly fair-trade system. Producers set their own prices, the regularity of sale, availability and the volume of produce that they want to sell. The producer can also decide on what publicity and descriptions of products that they want to use.

    Having a transparent system was really important to us. When a customer places an order at Tamar Valley Food Hubs, they know exactly how much the farmer will receive from the sale of each individual item thanks to the Open Food Network software that Tamar Valley Food Hubs is powered by.

    The system is also entirely zero waste as everything that is sold through the system is pre-ordered with the farmer so nothing is picked unnecessarily, and often picked on the customers delivery day ensuring tip-top quality that will last well in the home!

    Open Food Network is growing fast with food hubs and small enterprises starting to use the software across the world, so hopefully we’ll be able to see a new sub movement of fairtrade but with a more local focus.