Cake and Fairness: An anthropologists’ first thoughts on the Fairtrade Boroughs

Cake and Fairness: An anthropologists’ first thoughts on the Fairtrade Boroughs

A post by Cecilie Jakobsgaard, who has been a member of the Ealing Fairtrade Group since the last week of February. She is staying in Ealing to study Fairtrade Boroughs as preparation for her master’s thesis in anthropology in Denmark.

Cake and Fairness: An anthropologists’ first thoughts on the Fairtrade Boroughs

As we say in anthropology I have now been in the “field” for six weeks. In other words I have been a member of Ealing Fairtrade Group for six weeks – and now it’s time for an update on what I am actually doing here.

I have joined Ealing Fairtrade Group in order to study what the Fairtrade Boroughs mean to Fairtrade… How do the volunteers contribute to Fairtrade when it comes to creating value? Mostly they contribute with things related to cake which is always interesting of course – I really think that my choice of subject is fitting as I am known to be a dedicated cake-eater.

Bake sale 13 Feb 2014 008

(Jo Mortensen from Ealing Council is on the left, Cecile on the right)

But surely there is more to Fairtrade Boroughs than just cake. As part of the annual Fairtrade Fortnight I experienced a lot of different ways to interpret and thus construct Fairtrade as a brand – all the various groups which arranged Fairtrade events during the fortnight all connected different values to the brand.

At the Fairtrade pop-up shop in West Ealing, arranged by the Ealing Fairtrade Group, I met a lot of interesting people at the stalls who all defined Fairtrade in different ways, while selling beautiful things. I myself bought salad cutlery made of bone from one of the stalls. While doing some shopping and trying to help out at the shop, I also learned about Fairtrade; one of the things I learned is that the brand originally is based on Christian values, but I was told by a member of the Ealing Fairtrade Group that “You don’t need to be Christian to be ethical”.

Judith advertising the pop-up shop

Judith advertising the pop-up shop

There are still Christian based Fairtrade groups and supporters – but as I discovered at the MADE event at the Crepe Shop in Whitechapel there exists a quite large Muslim base as well, who seem to think that supporting Fairtrade is part of being a good Muslim (back to the cake theme: they served amazing crepes!). And of course I have also met quite a few people who think that Fairtrade should not have anything to do with religion at all.

At the Forest Gate Women’s Institute’s combined event for Fairtrade Fortnight and International Women’s Day I found that Fairtrade is by some related to women’s rights. This is a value I re-discovered at the Divine Chocolate pop-up shop, where my “key informant” Jackie and I met two producers of cocoa, who told us that they are working on bringing more women into cocoa farming.

Some relate Fairtrade to politics, and some, again, do not. Quite a few of my informants, the members of the Fairtrade Boroughs who I have talked to, are left wing in their political views and relate this view to Fairtrade in some degree – but at the same time I was told by a liberal Fairtrade volunteer “you don’t need to be a socialist to think that you shouldn’t exploit other people”.

My point with these examples is to show that Fairtrade is a very broad and open brand, that brings a lot of different people together to promote the same good cause, despite contrasting backgrounds. This way Fairtrade represents a lot of contrasting values defined by all the members – joined by a shared love for two things: cake and fairness.

These were some initial thoughts about my project so far, which is still in the beginning phase. I’m here until mid May – so if you feel like talking about Fairtrade and what it means to you, please feel free to contact me at ceciliejakobsgaard@gmail.com.

And finally: a big thank you to the Ealing Fairtrade Group – and especially Jackie for welcoming me in to the group and her home.

Fairtrade bake sale cakes

Fairtrade bake sale cakes

Pop-up shop photos

Pop-up shop photos

A reminder of all the fantastic Fairtrade vendors that took part in our first ever Pop-up shop in West Ealing between Monday 24th February – Saturday 1st March:

  • Divine chocolate – A range of flavours from the Fairtrade chocolate company which is 45% owned by cocoa farmers in Ghana
  • fonsa.org.uk - A charitable trust supporting the town of Nablus and surrounding areas in the West Bank
  • Handicrafts from Colombia - Handmade native, bohemian and tribal inspired jewellery
  • Live Fairtrade - Jewellery and bags from Tibet and Nepal
  • Love That Stuff - Fairtrade clothing, jewellery and homewares, from countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America
  • Mamacha - Fairly traded knitwear from Peru
  • Safricana - Fairly traded knitwear from South Africa
  • shared-interest.com- An alternative investment company which only lends to Fairtrade buyer and producer organisations
  • siwok.org.uk - Wooden handicrafts made by the Wichi Indians of Northern Argentina
  • traidcraft.co.uk - A wide range of Fairtrade foods and handicrafts from around the world
  • Urban Upcycle – beautiful phone and iPad cases made from repurposed fabrics
  • WOW bags - Bags made from recycled juice cartons in the Philippines

People and Planet meeting, Sunday 2nd March

People and Planet meeting, Sunday 2nd March

We’ve received this email from Enid Barron about a Fairtrade themed meeting at St Stephen’s Church in West Ealing:

This is just to let you know that there is a meeting of People and Planet this Sunday 2nd at 12,30pm. at St Stephen’s Church W13.  The theme is Fairtrade.

There will be a quiz (done as table teams so no-one need fear being put on the spot) and we will be introduced to some new Fairtrade products.

There will be time for a relaxed lunch together and to look at and discuss a Bible passage relevant to our theme.  If you wish to contribute to the bring and share lunch please could you try to include at least one Fairtrade ingredient in whatever you bring.

Music at the Fairtrade Pop Up Shop

Music at the Fairtrade Pop Up Shop

This Thursday, 27th February, the Fairtrade Pop Up Shop in West Ealing, 99 Broadway, is open from 10.00 am until 8.30 pm with live music to celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight:-

At 10.30 a Ukelele band from St Marks Primary School Hanwell will wake us all up and put us in the mood for a day’s shopping.

From 6.00 in the evening, Hilda Sibeck and Josh Fowley of the London College of Music will wind the day down with a mix of Latin, Jazz and Folk music. The shop will stay open until 8.30 pm with a range of stalls and a variety of Fairtrade foods to taste and try.

If you haven’t yet visited the Pop Up Shop, Thursday 27th is a very good day to do so! Please call in at any time – and bring your friends and family.

If you can’t make it on Thursday, the Fairtrade shop remains open on Friday 28th and Saturday 1st March from 10.00 until 6.00 pm. We’ll have more new stalls each day and on Saturday there will be face painting.

On Monday 3rd March, Tea Darling and Chara Creative will take over the Pop Up Shop. For more details see: www.ealing.gov.uk/info/200949/town_centre_and_area_regeneration/1645/west_ealing/2

Fairtrade shop open from this Monday!

Fairtrade shop open from this Monday!

The Fairtrade Pop Up Shop opens at 10.00 am on Monday 24th February at 99 The Broadway, West Ealing W13 9BP. To find it, head West along the Uxbridge Road from Sainsburys/West Ealing library and you will find it between The Cake Shop and Morrisons.

Each day there will be a different mix of stalls including:

  • Divine chocolate – A range of flavours from the Fairtrade chocolate company which is 45% owned by cocoa farmers in Ghana
  • fonsa.org.uk - A charitable trust supporting the town of Nablus and surrounding areas in the West Bank
  • Handicrafts from Colombia - Handmade native, bohemian and tribal inspired jewellery
  • Live Fairtrade - Jewellery and bags from Tibet and Nepal
  • Love That Stuff - Fairtrade clothing, jewellery and homewares, from countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America
  • Mamacha - Fairly traded knitwear from Peru
  • Safricana - Fairly traded knitwear from South Africa
  • shared-interest.com- An alternative investment company which only lends to Fairtrade buyer and producer organisations
  • siwok.org.uk - Wooden handicrafts made by the Wichi Indians of Northern Argentina
  • traidcraft.co.uk - A wide range of Fairtrade foods and handicrafts from around the world
  • WOW bags - Bags made from recycled juice cartons in the Philippines

bananasmall1.jpg
Each day we will have craft activities for children (and adults). These are free of charge, with all materials provided – just drop into the shop to take part.

You can also support the Make Bananas Fair campaign by signing the Fairtrade Foundation petition – find out more at: http://foncho.fairtrade.org.uk

 

On Thursday morning a Ukelele band from St Marks School Primary School in Hanwell will be performing in the shop and on Friday morning some more pupils from St Marks will be bringing their work on Fairtrade to display in the shop.

We are very pleased to confirm that on Thursday evening – 27th February – we will be open late, until 8.30 pm, for shopping, live music and a Fairtrade food tasting. Hilda Sibeck and Josh Fowley of the London College of Music will be performing and we’ll have a variety of Fairtrade nibbles for tasting. Entry is free of charge, so please join us – and bring your friends and family.

One Fairtrade Big Brew coming up

One Fairtrade Big Brew coming up

There will be a Fair Trade Big Brew (that’s tea and coffee not beer!) at St Mellitus Church in Hanwell on Wednesday March 5th from 11am – 4.30pm and on Saturday March 8th from 11am – 3pm.

Directions available at saintmellitushanwell.org.uk

Pop in for a cup of Fairtrade tea, coffee or juice and fairtrade snacks, learn about fair trade and buy Traidcraft fair trade food, gifts and cards.

Fairtrade coffee photos

Plans for our Pop Up Shop progress

Plans for our Pop Up Shop progress

Plans for the Fairtrade Pop Up Shop in West Ealing, 99 Broadway, are progressing fast and we can now confirm that the following businesses will be joining us during the week of Monday 24th February – Saturday 1st March.

  • Handicrafts from Colombia - Handmade native, bohemian and tribal inspired jewellery
  • Live Fairtrade - Jewellery and bags from Tibet and Nepal
  • Love That Stuff - Fairtrade clothing, jewellery and homewares, from countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America
  • Mamacha - Fairly traded knitwear from Peru
  • WOW bags
  • fonsa.org.uk - A charitable trust supporting the town of Nablus and surrounding areas in the West Bank
  • traidcraft.co.uk - A wide range of Fairtrade foods and handicrafts from around the world
  • Safricana - Fairly traded knitwear from South Africa
  • siwok.org.uk - Wooden handicrafts made by the Wichi Indians of Northern Argentina
  • shared-interest.com - An alternative investment company which only lends to Fairtrade buyer and producer organisations

Each day the shop will have a different mix of stalls.  On Thursday 27th and Friday 28th February, St Marks Primary School Hanwell will be joining us to demonstrate their musical talents and exhibit their work on Fairtrade.

Ealing Council’s website has more information on the pop up shops at ealing.gov.uk/popupshop.

Fairtrade Shop to Pop Up in West Ealing

Fairtrade Shop to Pop Up in West Ealing

We are very pleased to announce that during the first week of Fairtrade Fortnight (Monday 24th February – Saturday 1st March) Ealing Fairtrade Group will be hosting a Pop Up Fairtrade Shop in West Ealing, at 99 Broadway W13 9BP.

We are inviting a variety of different Fairtrade businesses to join us, and each day there will be a different combination of goods on sale – including fairly traded handicrafts, clothes, accessories, jewellery and gifts.

We are also asking local schoolchildren to show off their creative skills by contributing poems, stories, drama  and artwork on a Fairtrade theme for display and/or performance in the pop up shop.

These businesses have already confirmed that they will join us:

  • Live Fairtrade - Jewellery and bags from Tibet and Nepal
  • Love That Stuff - Fairtrade clothing, jewellery and homewares, from countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America
  • Mamacha - Fairly traded knitwear from Peru
  • WOW Bags  - A range of bags made from recycled juice cartons by a group of women in the Philippines

If you run a Fairtrade business and are interested in joining us for one or more days in the Pop Up Fairtrade Shop between 24th February and 1st March, please contact Jackie and Judith at info@ealingfairtrade.org.uk.

If you are a student, pupil, teacher, parent or carer in the Borough of Ealing, and would like to contribute to our Creative Corner, please also contact us at info@ealingfairtrade.org.uk.

Red crotchet necklace from lovethatstuff.co.uk.

Can you help us?

Can you help us?

We are currently looking for new volunteers to help with events and activities during 2014. We particularly need people to help organise events and talk to the public, including for Fairtrade Fortnight and the Ealing Fairtrade Awards, which we’re hoping to launch this year. We would also like help to engage with schools in the borough.

Anyone with an interest in Fairtrade is welcome to join and contribute. In return we can provide you with event organising experience and a reference for your CV.  To get involved, please e-mail Jackie Whitaker at info@ealingfairtrade.org.uk. Please include your number if you would rather we called.

You can see photos from some of our previous activities at http://ealingfairtrade.org.uk/events.

The Big Lunch

Ealing Fairtrade Group at the Big Lunch, 2013. Would you like to help out with events like this one?

Photos from Ealing Council’s Fairtrade craft fair

Photos from Ealing Council’s Fairtrade craft fair

Ealing Council held a Fairtrade craft fair at Perceval House council offices on the 10th and 11th December. Below are some photos taken by Jackie Whitaker of the beautiful items on sale.

Love That Stuff is a fairtrade shop in Brighton selling a variety of fairly traded clothes, accessories and homewares. The products come from different countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America – www.lovethatstuff.co.uk

'Love that stuff' stall - www.lovethatstuff.co.uk

‘Love that stuff’ stall – www.lovethatstuff.co.uk

'Love that stuff' stall - www.lovethatstuff.co.uk

‘Love that stuff’ stall – www.lovethatstuff.co.uk

To me their crotchet jewellery, made by Indian women lacemakers paid a living wage plus a social premium for health, education and training, is particularly gorgeous. The necklace below is available from www.fairtradecrochet.com.

Crochet flower and button necklace mustard

Crochet flower and button necklace – http://www.fairtradecrochet.com

WoW bags stands for ‘Wonders of Waste’. These vibrant bags come from the Philippines and are made from empty juice cartons. They are sold in London by local Hanwell resident Angie Harris.

'Wonders of Waste' bags, sold by Angie Harris

‘Wonders of Waste’ bags, sold by Angie Harris

'Wonders of Waste' bags, sold by Angie Harris

‘Wonders of Waste’ bags, sold by Angie Harris

Mamacha sells fairly traded, high-quality Peruvian knitwear: www.mamacha.co.uk. The company provides reliable employment to women living in impoverished parts of Peru.

Mamacha stall, www.mamacha.co.uk

Mamacha stall, www.mamacha.co.uk

Mamacha stall, www.mamacha.co.uk

Mamacha stall, www.mamacha.co.uk