Fair Enough

22 February 2008

Shopping for food these days can be somewhat of an ethical struggle. Do I buy free range, should I buy organic and do I need to consider the low fat option. On some occasions, shoppers can feel a certain amount of guilt on leaving the supermarket after considering their decisions, especially when it comes to Fairtrade.

Buying products with a Fairtrade logo reassures the consumer that there has been no exploitation to anyone in getting that product to them. The Fairtrade initiative, which was launched in the late 1980’s, attempts to ensure that both the producers and the consumers of any Fairtrade product are benefiting from the transaction. Not only is the consumer left with a good quality ingredient for consumption but the producer is paid a decent wage, which is infrequently the case in much trade outside that of the Fairtrade scheme. Producers that are part of the Fairtrade initiative receive a minimum wage to cover their basic costs of production and living. Also, money is paid into local socio-economic development schemes; investment in the future.

There are a number of new products now available at the supermarkets including fruit, spices, biscuits and jams as well as the original tea, coffee and chocolate. Along with the new range of products, The Fairtrade Everyday Cookbook is available to buy form most bookshops. The book, edited by TV chef Sophie Grigson, contains many dishes from cooks nationwide and from some celebrities such as Natasha Kaplinsky, Oz Clarke and Sheherazade Goldsmith to name a few. Recipes including St Lucian Banana Crumble, St Lucian Banana Bread as well as Sir Steve Redgrave’s favourite dish, Baked Penne with Dolce Latté Cheese and Radicchio can all be found in the book.