How aware are you of what you buy when you go shopping? Do you always buy the same items, the same brands , from the same places. Or do you buy what is on offer at the time and brand doesn’t really matter to you? We can all be influenced about what we buy, consciously or subconsciously, it is all around us, enticing us to buy more or switch brands. You walk into the supermarket and they have a large promotional stack of biscuits right inside the entrance. On the end of the aisles they have more plinths stacked high with items with a large in your face sign telling you what an amazing offer it is. How many times have you reached out and taken the biscuits or the washing powder and popped it in your trolley. You may have taken 2 or 3 thinking it is such a great deal that you will stock up.

But, have you ever thought about where your products come from? Are they ethical, sustainable, environmentally produced. For some of us this is a big question for others of us it is budget verses conscience and that is why we have such diversity in our supermarkets and the freedom to choose.

From the 25th February to the 10th March it is Fairtrade Fortnight. Across these 2 weeks companies, organisations and individuals will celebrate the people who grow and harvest our food. These are people who come from some of the poorest countries and live in the worst of conditions. They do what they have to do to support themselves and their families with the basics of life. This year the Fairtrade organisation is supporting and celebrating Women in the Cocoa trade. The women that provide us with the chocolate that we love so much.

A Cocoa farmer in West Africa should earn at least £1.86 a day to sustain a living wage and be able to look after their family, but many typically earn around 74p a day meaning that most of the farmers live in poverty. For women this is worse as they also have to look after the children, cook, carry water, collect wood, clean and transport the Cocoa beans to market. They do not have the same rights as the men. This is why Fairtrade is campaigning to get a living wage for all, men and especially women, so they can have a basic comfortable standard of life and not live in poverty.

So the next time you go shopping, look out for Fairtrade produce, have a look a the price, it really isn’t expensive and if it is 1p or 2p dearer, buy it, even if it is once a month, it all helps.

To read more about the Fairtrade Fortnight and to get involved go to Fairtrade Fortnight.

Thank you for reading. Jacky x

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