Seven reasons to pay attention to Fairtrade fortnight

Seven reasons to pay attention to Fairtrade fortnight
14/03/2017 - 11:35
First launched in 1995, Fairtrade Fortnight focuses on the producers who grow some of Britain’s most used commodities, such as cocoa, coffee and tea.

The theme for this year’s Fairtrade fortnight (27th February – 12th March 2017) was “Don’t feed exploitation. Choose Fairtrade” and with this in mind, Shirley Duncalf, head of sustainability at Bidvest Foodservice, discusses how and why all facets of the cost sector can get involved all year round.

Be part of a trend

Fairtrade is one of the most visible and valued marks in the UK (alongside Red Tractor, Organic and Rainforest Alliance) with over 9 nine in 10 UK consumers having seen it.

In a world where provenance is often front of mind, Fairtrade shows companies are considering where the products they are selling are coming from. The public is conscious of what is involved when it comes to food provision and the importance of these labels. This means organisations including, contract and workplace caterers, schools, universities and colleges, the public sector and care homes need to keep up. At Bidvest Foodservice we’ve stocked Fairtrade for many years now, and have seen a distinct increase in sales of Fairtrade products showing many places are looking to offering it as standard.

Be part of a global community

There are over 1,226 producer organisations across the Fairtrade system and more than 1.65 million farmers and workers benefitting from the initiative worldwide. The Fairtrade mark ensures they are all given a fair price, have more control over their futures and can protect the environment in which they live and work.

However, Fairtrade isn’t just about giving producers a good price. Of the 93% of people who have seen the Fairtrade mark, 71% use it to decide if a product is ethical. 60% of consumers believe Fairtrade producers benefit from safer working conditions too. As such, stocking goods with the mark can help towards an organisation’s corporate, social and environmental responsibility (CSER) pledge and can even help you achieve the silver and gold Catering Mark.

No longer a nice to have

Originally considered a premium 'nice to have' or an expensive alternative for businesses and consumers looking to go the extra mile, statistics show that 50% of consumers feel that Fairtrade offers good value. This is complimented by findings that show nearly two-thirds (65%) of consumers believe that food produced in a responsible way is more expensive, indicating that consumers recognise a link between low prices and irresponsible food production today. 62% of consumers also believe that Fairtrade products are high quality and, while cost sector food has to be economical, and so should not be put off offering Fairtrade products due to cost.

Responsible supplying and buying

Studies show that consumers believe that the responsibility for future food sustainability should be shared among companies, government and ethical labels. The majority of people (92%) believe that it is the responsibility of food companies to ensure food production is fair and sustainable. We’re proud to be part of the solution and as a leading UK foodservice provider we are working with both our producers and customers to ensure Fairtrade goods are accessible and affordable.

Be loud and proud with Fairtrade products

60% of consumers are proud to be seen buying Fairtrade products and it is vital organisations tap into this. The same percentage feel the foundation reflects personal values something companies, businesses and organisation are best to align with in order to promote a positive work environment.  

Fairtrade is constantly evolving

While the mark has been around for years, there are always new ways of using Fairtrade goods as well as new products coming onto the market. Historically limited to the likes of bananas and coffee, Fairtrade is now a key element within many ranges. In fact, to date we sell over 150 Fairtrade products across several categories including drinks, produce, desserts, prepared foods, ingredients, hot beverages, vending, confectionery, cakes, biscuits, crisps and snacks.

There’s not a single meal of the day which couldn’t involve Fairtrade products. At Bidvest Foodservice, we offer a range of Fairtrade daily necessities such as tea, sugar and juice as well as occasional items including wine and even popcorn. This year we launched a new coffee range – Black + White Coffee Co. – and for us, it was important the product was Fairtrade to reflect our stance on sustainability.

Make your commitment stand out

A lot of Fairtrade’s own publicity material is targeted at high-street retail and is therefore not expected everywhere – especially in the cost sector. This makes a commitment to Fairtrade a great point of difference opportunity for businesses to stand out both to their staff and customers.

For more information on the Fairtrade products available visit the Bidvest Foodservice website. Alternatively, to find out more about what your business can do to be sustainable visit Bidvest Foodservice’s information hub, plate2planet.

Copyright 2017 Cost Sector Catering
Dewberry Redpoint Limited is a company Registered in England and Wales No : 03129594 Registered Office:
John Carpenter House, John Carpenter Street, London EC4Y 0AN, UK, VAT registered, number 586 7988 48.

Design & Development by Eton Digital