Fairtrade Fortnight takes place annually at the end of February; a fairly self-explanatory two weeks of campaigning, cake-selling, event-holding and general awareness-raising of all things Fairtrade.
Last year I worked for 10 months as an intern with international development organisation Christian Aid, and as part of this internship I was fortunate enough to work alongside a couple of local Fairtrade steering groups up in the North-West. These steering groups are entirely volunteer-led and were a real source of inspiration to me during my time with Christian Aid. So much so that I changed a lot of my buying habits! I now insist on only buying Fairtrade bananas, coffee, tea, chocolate and make every effort to ensure that the items of clothing I wear are also Fairtrade. This does require a bit of research in to organisations such as Ethletic and People Tree, but the short time it costs me is more than worth it for the benefit to the producers of these goods.
As a campaign, Fairtrade is a superb example of one that started out as a joint venture between several organisations, which then took on a life of its own. Not unlike our own annual Valentine’s Day event, Random Acts of Kindness, which began life as an Envision student project, but now exists completely independently. Inspirational stuff!