Last Friday, Brighton Marina hosted its first Fairtrade indoor market, organised by lovethatstuff, a registered not-for-profit company and a member of BAFTS (British Association of Fairtrade Shops). Brighton Marina is the first site of its kind to host a Fairtrade indoor market and the new project will run for a year supporting at least 16 producer groups in developing countries to market their goods and earn a living wage.
This comes at the end of the Fairtrade fortnight on campus, running from February 23rd to March 8th which saw numerous events such as a Fairtrade cooking demonstration by University Catering Services in Bramber House Café and the giving out of Fair Trade bananas in Library Square among other activities.
Lovethatstuff was established in 2002 and for the past four years has held a monthly Fairtrade market in the centre of Brighton. It sells a wide selection of Fairtrade goods ranging from food, bags, body care products, jewellery among many others. They are also the sole UK importer from groups in Afghanistan, Bolivia, Uganda and Kenya and their sales help to fund projects such as the rehabilitation of street children in Nairobi to funding transport for deaf children to and from school in Bolivia.
Why choose Fairtrade? The University of Sussex has given great support to Fairtrade over the past few years, and in 2007 was officially designated a ‘Fairtrade University’. Fairtrade supports producers and communities in the developing world and is about better prices, local sustainability and decent working conditions, and also allows people to shop with a conscience. The Fairtrade stamp requires companies to pay a sustainable price to the producers which should never be lower than the market price, and Fairtrade rejects the injustice of traditional trade which discriminates against the poorest and weakest producers. The University of Sussex offers a variety of Fairtrade goods on campus especially the serving of Fairtrade tea and coffee in cafés, bars and restaurants across campus. The Students’ Union shops collectively stock close to 100 Fairtrade products.
UK Fairtrade market has doubled in value every two years and in 2007 reached an estimated value of £493 million. It has been growing at a rate of 40 per cent annually for the past 5 years. Fairtrade helps support over 7 million people worldwide to build a better future for themselves as producers and their communities.
The indoor Fairtrade Market can be found at Unit 9, Brighton Marina and is open Thursday to Sunday 11am – 5pm. The next lovethatstuff Fairtrade market will be on this Saturday, the 21st March 11am to 4pm at the Friends’ Meeting House in Ship Street, Brighton.