India and Pakistan come together for fair trade event

February 29, 2012

There have long been tensions between India and Pakistan – but this Saturday at St Columba’s Church in Alfred Street, you can hear  the stories of how women in both countries are overcoming poverty and powerlessness through fair trade and education.

From Pakistan, Rukhshanda Naz  will talk, with videos, on her work with the Aurat Foundation and UN Women for the empowerment of women in traditional societies.  Rukhshanda began her struggle for women’s rights as a teenager, resisting marriage plans and insisting on being allowed to study for a law degree. She is also a board member of micro-credit, education and women’s rights organisation Khwendo Kor which is supported by the Oxford-based Friends of Khwendo Kor.

From India, Sabita Banerji  will describe her recent visit to her native South Indian hills to see the radical trading movement Just Change in action.  Sabita interviewed two sets of members of the Just Change network; women from an indigenous people’s co-operative that grows tea and women in a poor village who have set up their own shop to sell this tea and other ethically sourced products.

There will be Fair Trade stalls  and refreshments, including  lunch.  Donations to cover costs will be welcome. The event is part of Oxford International Women’s Festival and Oxford Fairtrade Fortnight. Saturday 3rd March, from 11.30-14.30 at St Columba’s Church in Alfred Street, Oxford.

For news of more events in Oxford during Fairtrade Fortnight see What’s On.

Oxfam and The Co-op team up to support smallholder farmers

February 28, 2012

Oxfam has played a crucial role in the history of Fairtrade from the very beginning – as you can read in our special Fairtrade Fortnight publication, Oxford Fairtrade News.  Now it has taken another historic step by teaming up with The Co-operative to campaign for increased international investment to help smallholder growers and co-operatives to feed the world sustainably. The Co-Op’s next big step is to switch all their bananas to 100% Fairtrade, sourced from fellow co-operatives.


Oxfam believes that smallholder producers, many of which are co-operatives, are the key to feeding the extra two billion people that it is estimated will be on the planet by 2050, despite the gathering pace of climate change and dwindling natural resources. >>read more

Both Oxfam and The Co-Operative sell a broad range of Fairtrade foods and other products.

Midcounties Co-Operative is supporting a special Fairtrade Fortnight event at The Hub this Sunday and another at Exeter Hall, Kidlington on March 7th. For more information see What’s On in Oxford Fairtrade Fortnight 2012

UK consumers go bananas for Fairtrade and buck recession trend

February 28, 2012

The Guardian reported yesterday – the first day of Fairtrade Fortnight 2012 – that “sales of fairly traded products have bucked the trend of decline in the UK retail market to grow by 12% in the last year. The value of Fairtrade products sold through shops reached £1.32bn in 2011, compared to £1.17bn in 2010, according to figures from the Fairtrade Foundation…” >>read more

Oxford is celebrating Fairtrade  Fortnight 2012 with a plethora of events:

Today you can sample and buy a range of Fairtrade goodies at  Oxford Brookes University’s Fairtrade Market, 10.30 – 15.30, Gipsy Lane Campus

Find out what else is on in Oxford during Fairtrade Fortnight here

Fairtrade Fortnight 2012 Starts Today!

February 27, 2012

Today is the first day of Fairtrade Fortnight 2012. The theme is Take a Step for Fairtrade.

Nelson Mandela sent this message to the people of  Oxford when it first gained its status as a Fairtrade City in 2004:

“By supporting Fairtrade, Oxford is affirming once more its commitment to partnership and friendship with people in South Africa and around the world.  In a world where much trade is not fair, such partnerships and friendships offer hope for the future.  Together, we are taking steps towards building a more just world economy. We must continue on this path, to build real opportunities and freedom for all”.

Take your first – or your next – Fairtrade step today. Nelson Mandela continued on the path of his own Long Walk to Freedom until the injustice he was fighting was defeated. We can do it too.

Nelson Mandela at the Saïd Business School in 2002. Photo: University of Oxford

Oxford Fairtrade News is here

February 26, 2012

Volunteers from the Oxford City Fair Trade Coalition have been working hard to put together a special Fairtrade Fortnight Newspaper packed full of articles and info about fair trade in Oxford.

We’ve printed 4,000 copies will be distributing them all around Oxford over Fairtrade Fortnight, so look out for a copy when you are in town.

If you’ve not managed to get hold of a printed copy, you can download a copy of the newspaper here (10Mb PDF), or, if you’re quick, drop us an e-mail and we might be able to offer you some copies to distribute where you are.



Thanks to Thomas Nicolaou for kindly permitting use of the I Love Oxford tours image, which in the printed copy should have been acknowledged as © Thomas Nicolaou.

Tickets now on sale for ‘Black Gold’ screening

February 26, 2012

You can now buy your tickets for the special Fairtrade Fortnight screening of Black Gold at the Ultimate Picture Palace on Cowley Road on March 6th. (This Black Gold is the one about Ethiopian coffee farmers, not the one about the oil trade!)

Coffee is the world’s most valuable commodity after oil, but the price paid to coffee farmers remains so low that many have been forced to abandon their farms. “Remarkable – a moving but scandalous story. It has extraordinary power.” Daily Telegraph. Tickets £8.00 standard, £6.00 member students/concession.
For more info see
Or to book tickets go to

Tadesse Meskela, manager of the Oromia Coffee Farmers Co-operative Union, talking with farmers in Ethiopia

Kennington4Fairtrade Event

February 25, 2012

East Oxford Farmers Market celebrates Fairtrade Fortnight

February 24, 2012

The vibrant local farmer’s market that was a finalist in last year’s Radio 4 Food & Farming Awards for  Best Food Market celebrates Fairtrade Fortnight 2011 with  Fairtrade homewares from The Jaunty Shopper,  SESI ethical food refilling station and detergent refilling station over the next couple of weeks. Find out more at

News from Fairtrade At St Michaels

February 23, 2012
You are invited to Take A Step for Fairtrade in 2012.  The challenge is to take a step further so perhaps you can try new Fairtrade products or tell a friend about how great these products are.  At Fairtrade at St. Michaels we have an impressive range of crafts, fashion accessories and food.  Have a peek at or follow us on twitter or facebook.
Fairtrade Fortnight Coffee, Cake and Win Groceries!
From 27th February to 11th March, pop into Fairtrade at St. Michaels shop for the chance to win a bag of Fairtrade groceries and sample chocolate brownies while you are there.
Also, to celebrate International Women’s Day on Thursday 8th March we are promoting Equal Exchange coffee grown by women farmers.  Come in to taste this delicious coffee.

News from The Windmill

February 22, 2012

Check out news from The Windmill in Headington below…