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Climate change & fair trade: Behind the scenes

The United Nations Climate Change Conference COP26 is happening right now in Glasgow and as you know it is arguably the most important global leaders meeting in our lifetime to date. The future of our planet and its inhabitants is critically endangered and in need of immediate and confident action.

To mark this event and show our support, Rainbow Turtle is hosting an event in Paisley and we would like to invite you to join us. 

During the evening we will be able to hear talks and presentations from a number of guests:

  • Jennifer Sambazi – Fairtrade coffee producer and cooperative leader from Uganda
  • Mauro Pereira – environmentalist, favela educator and part of Brazilian civil society delegation at COP26
  • Tzaritsa Asante – sustainable fashion designer from Scotland.

We would value this opportunity to meet you and share with you our plans for strengthening Renfrewshire’s commitment to fair trade, social justice and climate change action.

There will be a possibility to explore a fair trade stall with a selection of ethical and fairly traded goods and some time to enjoy Fairtrade tea or coffee and some light snacks after the talks.

The event is supported by the Renfrewshire Fairtrade steering group, which supports and promotes fair trade businesses and projects within Renfrewshire.

You can also find out about the event on our Facebook page and you can book your place on Eventbrite.

Education, Seasonal, Uncategorised

Black History Month

This years’ BLACK HISTORY MONTH is in full swing and I feel one cannot talk about fair trade, climate justice and social justice without talking about Africa and the people that call this beautiful continent home. Many events, both good and bad, shaped the way Africa is today and it is crucial to remember them and recognize their importance, for there is no future without the past. Today, however, I would like to reflect on how we see and how we talk about Africa.

For years, the African continent has been associated with poverty, corruption, political chaos, human rights abuse, various diseases and a lack of both development and ambition. While some of these things are undoubtedly present in parts of the continent, the challenge is to look beyond that, to look beyond media cliches and plain stereotypes, as shrouded behind all these is a beautiful, radiant, vibrant and diverse continent.

When I think of Africa I think about breath-taking scenery, diverse fauna and flora, delicious food and a wonderful variety of musical sounds. I think about all these but mostly, I think about the PEOPLE. It is disdainful to throw African people into one pot as this huge continent has more tribes, cultures, religious beliefs and languages than an average person can comprehend. From this diversity stems the true beauty of Africa. From Tunisia to South Africa, from Senegal to Somalia – Africa is a patchwork of cultures and traditions that are as radiant and thriving today as they were hundreds of years ago. So yes, Africa is a beautiful place that is alive thanks to the people that live there.

It is a popular belief that due to the fact that many African countries struggle with high levels of poverty, only pocket deep donations can overcome this problem. While, arguably, this approach might be relevant in some situations, for instance, environmental catastrophe or even armed conflict resolution, it is my opinion that Africa would indeed benefit from every one of us becoming a conscious citizen. We need to understand the effect our actions have on other people (however far they might be) and the planet. African people are no different to us in the meaning that they work hard to earn the living. The difference is in how that work is valued and treated. If we demand from our leaders to ensure honest, fair and decent pay for work to everyone on every step of the trade chain there will be no need for charity and aid money. To me, this is fundamental in understanding Africa and its people.

Perhaps this is quite obvious, but nonetheless, I would like you to think about those people. Think about people when you are shopping for this warm winter cardigan to prepare for long winter nights. Think about people when you are drinking that life-saving morning coffee to help you get through the day filled to the brim with things that just can not wait, kids that need your attention right now and the boss that wanted this paper on his desk yesterday. Think about people when you are making the comforting bowl of curry and rice for the dinner. Think about people when you are buying flowers for someone you care about. Think about people, as they make all these possible. Is this why they deserve to be treated fairly and with respect? No. They deserve to be treated as our equals because that is who they are. Being human is enough to deserve respect. Borders, different skin tones or a different way of saying ‘hello’ don’t change that. We need to treat people fairly because they are people.

So please, instead of thinking about poverty think about equality, instead of feeling pity think about fairness. Let’s stand up for human rights – this October and for as long as it’s needed.

Shop, Uncategorised

Talking GLOVES Part 1

We are talking Fair Trade gloves with an added, added bonus!

NOT ONLY do the gloves already wash away and weed out unfair trade BUT… they are also of a seriously high standard…

How do I know? I have washed my fair share of dishes and ended up with my fair share of wet hands, despite always wearing rubber gloves! I have a large family and have never owned an electric dishwasher. With a house full of human ones (not electric), we have, until now, gone through too many pairs of washing-up gloves. Always the right hand, falling foul of a sharp knife or whatever secret predator lies in the bubbles, defying rubber gloves.

No longer! At Rainbow Turtle I have purchased a pair of Traidcraft’s wonder gloves and at an extremely modest price too. Note the singular: a pair, still going strong, many dishes and dry hands later!

As if that is not joy enough, we have customers on a waiting list for the marvellous gardening gloves. They have never known such good gardening gloves!

Do not despair, if your hands are smaller than large, as they are also available in medium.

The secret to these marvellous gloves? – aside from the fantastic price, quality assurance and practical way to purchase and support Fair Trade – is a supply chain that starts in a region in southern Sri Lanka and in Laos. It supports the farmers who grow the rubber trees and tap them for latex.

Join us. Shout out loud and clear about this extremely practical way to support Fair Trade. I invite you to be a voice for washing away and weeding out unfair trade, whilst remaining clean and dry.

If you want to give the gloves a try, pop along to Rainbow Turtle and buy, buy, buy…

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See our shop stock online

Would you like to know what Rainbow Turtle has in stock before you pop down to our delightful shop in Gauze Street, Paisley? Well now you can jump onto Google and type Rainbow Turtle into the search engine, or type a product that you’re looking for, and information about our shop and products will appear on your screen.

Rainbow Turtle’s Google entry

To search further for what we have in store, type into the search box under “See what’s in store” or click “View more” under the images of our products. Then come along to visit our shop, close to the centre of Paisley, and chat with our wonderful volunteers.

Shop, Uncategorised

WORLD FAIR TRADE DAY

We at Rainbow Turtle Just Trading Ltd are joining Scotland’s Support for World Fair Trade Day on Saturday 8 May 2021. Would you like to join us? Perhaps you could buy a Fair Trade product on Saturday and enjoy the difference it makes to others’ lives, and our world. Together, we can make millions of differences, in just one day!

Globally, we are asking that all countries build back up, in a fair way. A way that is better for our people and for our planet. Because…

we can #BuildBackFairer!

Our world is ailing due to the pandemic, inequality and environmental challenges.

The pandemic has shown us that we can WORK TOGETHER. Let us continue that trend. 

Together, we can bring about transformations in our economies and trading practices for a FAIR and SUSTAINABLE future. 

Join us!

WELCOME to Rainbow Turtle, 7 Gauze Street, Paisley, PH1 1EP : where you can buy Fair Trade, make a difference and even buy one get one free on quite Divine chocolate items – fair and delicious! #BuildBackFairer

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Cheerio to Gemma

It’s with great sadness that we said goodbye this week to our shop manager and education officer, Gemma Elliott. Gemma joined us almost exactly 3 years ago when Rainbow Turtle was going through a period of transition. The business was struggling financially and we had lost a number of key personnel over a short space of time (to lose one is a misfortune, but to lose two is carelessness?!!!). Gemma helped us to steady the ship, kept the shop running and maintained our work in schools.

We will miss Gemma’s bright personality and enthusiasm and wish her well in her new job.

(Oh, erm by the way this was not Gemma’s leaving do, it was Lynsay’s from 2019 but it was the only photo I could find of Gemma! We hope to be able to say goodbye to Gemma properly when things open up…)

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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!

Uncategorised

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!

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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.