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Fair Trade Finders

Teachers and parents setting home learning activities may be interested in a fun game this Fairtrade Fortnight: being a Fair Trade detective! The Scottish Fair Trade Forum are asking for help in tracking down Fair Trade products all around Scotland, which you can alert them to here. These entries will then be added to their map, so that we can all see just how much the message of Fair Trade is spreading across the country.

So next time you visit the supermarket, local shop, or really any business with your children, ask them to have a look around for Fair Trade products, and maybe even let the shop know, either in person or online, if you aren’t happy with their selection!

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Fairtrade Fun with Food

Fairtrade Fortnight 2021 has kicked off today, and it is of course very different from usual, with almost all of the celebrations happening online. But since one of the most exciting elements of being a Fair Trade supporter is getting to sample all of the tasty treats, how can that be replicated at home?

Well, several organisations have put together guides on cooking with Fair Trade food! Traidcraft have produced these simple to follow videos:

Fairtrade Yorkshire have also arranged several live cook-along events as part of their Fairtrade Connections festival. You can find details, including what ingredients you’ll need, here.

Our friends at JTS have also posted many cooking videos and ideas for their ingredients over on their Facebook. Happy cooking (and eating)!

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Virtual Fairtrade Fortnight

It’s nearly Fairtrade Fortnight 2021, and it will of course be a different experience from previous years with in-person gathering still not possible. Thankfully, fair trade organisations have organised some incredible online events!

The Fairtrade Foundation are running a festival of Climate, Fairtrade and You for the entire fortnight, which includes events and activities for all ages. There are so many to choose from that we couldn’t pick our favourite to recommend!

The Scottish Fair Trade Forum have also arranged two really interesting online events. You can sign up for their roundtable discussion on Fair Trade and the climate emergency, taking place on 24/02/21 12:00-13:00, here. Their innovative and informative coffee morning event, with input from Rwandan coffee producers, is also happening on the 27th at 10:00, and you can get tickets (possibly with free coffee included if you’re quick!) here.

Finally, we’re relaunching our podcast during Fairtrade Fortnight! Our first episode, an interview with Rainbow Turtle founder Liz Cotton, will be available on all of your favourite podcast providers on 22/02/21. Let us know what you think!

Seasonal

Fairtrade Valentine’s

Are you worried about how to show your love with a Fair Trade Valentine’s card while Rainbow Turtle, and lots of other ethical shops, are still closed? Especially with the big day approaching quickly? Well, the Fairtrade Foundation have stepped up with a fun series of eCards that you can download here. Whether your partner is nuts for Fair Trade or just as sweet as sugar, you’ll find the romantic card for you!

Education

Campaigns & Organisations Course

With lots more time being spent at home, many of us have turned to online learning as a way to not only fill time and entertain us, but also broaden our horizons when the world can feel so small. Our Education Officer, Gemma, has been trying out some Fair Trade focused courses, previously recommending the Who Made My Clothes? course on our blog.

This month, Gemma has been learning from a more general course, hosted by the Open University on their free platform Open Learn. The course, Campaigns and Organisations, covers how to effectively manage a campaign as part of a charity or voluntary organisation – something that many Rainbow Turtle supporters may find interesting in the run up to Fairtrade Fortnight! It’s a short course – said to take around 2 hours of online study – that gives lots of useful information in a straightforward way.

It begins with a short case study about a parent teacher association which is campaigning for the lowering of the speed limit on roads within the vicinity of its school and uses their example to emphasise the importance of focusing efforts on one issue at a time and knowing who the issue will benefit and who to target to get it done.

Particularly interesting is a recorded interview between Terry O’Sullivan, Senior Lecturer in Management at the Open University Business School, and Chris Stalker, Head of Campaigning Effectiveness at the National Council for Voluntary Organisations. They discuss many important factors to consider when campaigning, with the most salient advice being to be absolutely clear from the beginning about what you are trying to achieve. They also cover how to decide who to target with your campaign (e.g. political figures or the general public), how to manage problems (such as focusing too much on either fundraising or campaigning activities), how to approach the media, how to use technology in your campaign, and how to assess your impact as you progress. Most interesting for Rainbow Turtle was their advice on how to “punch above your weight” in campaigning as a small organisation by considering carefully how to use your finite resources of time and money.

The Open University pack in a great deal of useful information into this very short – and free! – course and it will be a huge help to many campaigners, particularly if they are just starting out.

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Urgent Action Needed for Banana Farmers

Banana farmers in Ghana are being left with an inflated tarrif to pay when their goods enter the UK, thanks to new arrangements agreed post-Brexit. This unexpected extra cost will negatively impact their already precarious livelihoods.

This comes despite a joint statement from the UK and Ghanaian governments saying that they had:
“reached a consensus on the main elements of a new trade agreement” that “provides the basis to replicate, the effects of the existing trade relationship between the UK and Ghana.”

We’re asking you to contact the UK Secretary of State for Internation Trade Liz Truss, using this letter, to request that urgent action be taken to return to previous trade agreements and compensate importers for any loses already incurred so that they will not be passed on to farmers.

You can read more about this here.

Education

Fair Trade Ideas Online

With lockdown continuing across Scotland, and Rainbow Turtle staying closed for the time being, you might be looking for somewhere to get your fix of Fair Trade fun and information…

5 Ways to Choose the World You Want in 2021

The Fairtrade Foundation have compiled a list of five ways to celebrate and learn about Fairtrade and look ahead to a better 2021 while we’re all stuck at home. Their suggestions include their upcoming Choose the World You Want festival, a look at how Fairtrade is aiding in the empowerment of female workers, and more! Click here for more information.

Development, Enterprise and Trade Webinar

Martin Rhodes, the Chief Executive of the Scottish Fair Trade Forum, is chairing a webinar on 28th January, looking at sustainable development and sharing learning from the Malawi CROPS project. This is a great opportunity for those interested in Fair Trade and sustainability to hear about this directly from those who work on it around the world.

Making Veganuary Extra Good – Vegan and Fair Trade

Just Trading Scotland are celebrating Veganuary over on their blog, with loads of ideas for recipes that are both vegan and Fair Trade. We sell a large range of JTS’s products in the Rainbow Turtle shop, so you may already have some of them in your cupboards, ready to be turned into a delicious vegan meal!

Let us know over on social media if any of these ideas inspire you!

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‘Choose the World You Want’ Youth Exhibition

The Fairtrade Foundation have recently shared the Fairtrade Fortnight theme for 2021: ‘Climate, Fairtrade and You’! Fairtrade Fortnight takes place 22 February – 7 March 2021 and so will be taking a different format from previous years, with limited opportunities for in-person learning and campaigning. We’ll be keeping you up to date on everything the Fairtrade Foundation, and others, have planned for this year’s exciting and relevant theme!

First up, for those aged 5 to 25, there’s the opportunity to ‘share your vision of the world you want’ as part of a youth exhibition of art, film, and creative writing on Fairtrade and the environment. You can find out more about this, including how to enter your work, here.

Teachers, parents, and guardians may be interested in this activity as a way to bring the ideas of Fair Trade into learning from home!

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Happy 2021!

It’s a new year but, with most of Scotland in a strict lockdown, we’re not sure it’s quite a happy one yet. But there are still rainbows to come after the rain! As we suspected might end up being the case, we can’t yet give a date for Rainbow Turtle reopening, but as soon as we know, you’ll know. Keep an eye on our social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) or sign up for our monthtly newsletter to stay in the loop!

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Merry Christmas!

2020 has been a difficult year, and we have only got through it thanks to the huge amount of support and encouragement from you: our supporters, customers, friends, and volunteers. Thank you!

The new year will kick off with a little uncertainty, with Rainbow Turtle now closed and most of Scotland in a level 4 lockdown, but we’re confident that we can get 2021 off to a great start, even if that does have to be a little bit later than normal!

We hope that you all have a wonderful, if unusual, Christmas and that your new year is a good one. Merry Christmas from all at Rainbow Turtle!