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Where Did It All Begin?
We’re all about Fairtrade at Ben & Jerry’s! The story of Fairtrade in Ireland started nearly 2 decades ago… 20 years ago in Ireland you could buy Fairtrade products from charity shops or the car boots of a handful of trailblazing volunteers. In 1996, Bewley’s was the first Irish company to agree to source raw materials on Fairtrade terms. Two years later in 1998, Fairtrade products were still only available in about 100 shops throughout Ireland. Since then, Fairtrade Ireland and friends have been working hard - rallying to get Fairtrade products (like Ben & Jerry’s ice cream!) more readily available for Irish citizens to buy.
Fairtrade in Ireland Today
Fast forward 20 years and, thanks to the support of many people, Irish shops are starting to stock more Fairtrade than ever before, with more and more people are buying it everyday.
Fairtrade has grown to become widely available in coffee shops, supermarkets and smaller stores around the country... Irish people are now spending 10% more on Fairtrade goods than they did in the past! Fairtrade has certainly come a long way, but there’s still more to be done!
On Fairtrade Ireland’s 20th birthday, Peter Gaynor, Executive Director of Fairtrade Ireland said: “We’re not just consumers - we’re primarily citizens. Albert Einstein, when asked what was the most powerful force in the universe, replied: ‘Compound interest’, and the benefits of Fairtrade are similar – all of those small amounts of money add up – and when paid regularly over time you get a powerful force for improvements in farmers' and workers' circumstances.”
Fairtrade is not just about supporting farmers all over the world, it’s also about planning for the future and making the world a more sustainable place for us all in the long-run!
Three Things You Can Do For the Fairtrade Movement in Ireland:
YOU have the power to help farmers to make a fair living and to use environmentally sound practises by embracing the Fairtrade movement in Ireland.
1) Make one Fairtrade purchase change a week
Buy one product a week that carries the Fairtrade mark instead of one without. This mark means that products are produced in line with international Fairtrade standards, ensuring they are socially and economically fair and environmentally responsible. By doing this you can support small farmers around the world by ensuring that they get a regular income, one Fairtrade purchase at a time. As Fairtrade Ireland puts it - the power to change the world is in your pocket!
2) Ask the retailers - why not Fairtrade?
GO BANANAS! Ask retailers in-store and on social media what Fairtrade products they stock. Compared to other European countries, research proves that Irish retailers could do more when it comes to Fairtrade and addressing the impacts of conventional trade. Selling on Fairtrade terms is one of the simplest things businesses in Ireland can do to support the global Fairtrade initiative.
3) Become a Fairtrade Ambassador
Influence your wider community to choose Fairtrade by signing up as a Fairtrade Ireland ambassador. Inspire those around you through your actions to encourage a greater impact for workers in developing countries and to challenge economic injustices around the world. Sign-up here.
Why back Fairtrade?
Fairtrade is a great model that’s helping to ensure the global economy is serving people - not the other way around! Let’s do even more over the next 20 years for Fairtrade in Ireland and around the world!
At Ben & Jerry’s we’ve always believed everyone deserves a fair share of the pie. We make sure that the farmers who supply important ingredients (vanilla, cocoa, banana, coffee and sugar) are getting a fair deal by sourcing only Fairtrade certified products! To read more about Fairtrade and our ingredients click here and for more info on Fairtrade Ireland see www.fairtrade.ie
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