Step Out and Dance – It’s Fairtrade!

Step Out and Dance – It’s Fairtrade!

It may well be that you have already come across this advertising campaign; volunteers are already shaking buckets outside supermarkets. So what’s it all about?

Back to basics: Fairtrade is a campaign movement with over 500 Fairtrade Towns, over 600 Fairtrade Schools, over 140 Fairtrade Universities and over 6,700 Fairtrade Faith groups, including synagogues, mosques and Hindu temples. More than 1.5 million people – farmers and workers – across 60 developing countries benefit from the international Fairtrade system. Over 4,500 products have been licensed to carry the FAIRTRADE Mark in the UK.

Wine: 19 million glasses of Fairtrade wine were enjoyed in the UK in 2010. You can buy Fairtrade wines in most major retailers and selected wine merchants. Or savour a glass in one of 137 Marston’s pubs across the UK.

Chocolate: Three of the top chocolate brands in the UK are now Fairtrade. Coming up will be Kit Kats and Cadbury Dairy Milk bars with the FAIRTRADE Mark and from next summer, Maltesers too!

Gold: Chichester Cathedral is the world’s first public building to display Fairtrade and Fairmined certified gold. In October 2011 a 3ft cockerel was gilded in Fairtrade certified gold and positioned atop the 270ft Cathedral spire. Fairtrade and Fairmined certified gold was launched this year on Valentine’s Day. The gold is mined by small scale artisanal miners in Colombia, Peru and Bolivia. Livia Firth wore Fairtrade gold to this year’s Oscar ceremony in LA.

Bananas: Three out of 10 bananas sold in the UK are Fairtrade. All bananas in Sainsbury’s are Fairtrade – they sell 1,200 Fairtrade bananas a minute adding up to a whopping 650 million a year.
T-Shirts: Model and TV presenter Lisa Butcher has just launched a range of Fairtrade cotton T-shirts available from Tesco online.

Let’s look at the video:

It grabs your attention from the off by having the instantly recognisable impressionist and comedian, Alistair McGowan, baking in his kitchen. He notices that the sugar has the Fairtrade label… cue the music… and he’s off doing a dodgy chicken-flapping dance routine!

The theme is then mirrored with other people; Jessica Hynes (so good in Simon Pegg’s “Spaced” series) is next after spotting Fairtrade on a coffee given to her in make-up.

There then follows others doing the Fairtrade Funk dance to the brassy latin rhythm; joggers, shoppers, and someone taking the dog for a walk – all inspired to do their dancer steps when they see the Fairtrade logo.

The video ends just as the fun begins to wear a bit thin and the tune becomes irritating rather the irresistible. But the idea is simple, and catchy, and the comments posted have given the trailer as thumbs up. It has just enough of a hook to send you to the link at the end to find out more about the campaign.

‘Take a Step’ for Fairtrade is this year’s campaign call to people in the UK to engage with the Fairtrade Foundation’s vision of an even bigger movement for positive change on unfair trade, including making the switch to buying Fairtrade. Starting in Fairtrade Fortnight (27 February – 11 March 2012), the Fairtrade Foundation is challenging the public to take a step in the right direction by thinking about what they can do every day, every week or every month throughout 2012 to make a difference to the lives of farmers in the developing world who produce the products they buy – whether that be choosing to buy a Fairtrade coffee on the way to work, or making sure their weekly shopping baskets contain one or two more Fairtrade products like Fairtrade tea or bananas, or encouraging their friends and family to switch to Fairtrade.

A step doesn’t have to be a dance routine! A step is any action that supports Fairtrade – taking a first step could be someone buying their first packet of Fairtrade coffee, tea or sugar; for someone further along the Fairtrade ‘journey’, their step could be to find out if there is a Fairtrade Town campaign where they live; and for a seasoned Fairtrade campaigner, their step could be to organise a fun public event for Fairtrade Fortnight.

Everyone who takes a step can register it over at where the steps will be displayed on an interactive ‘step-o-meter’. The Fairtrade Foundation wants the public to take 1.5 million steps for Fairtrade in 2012. That’s one for every Fairtrade producer Fairtrade aims to work with around the world. As you can see from the screen shot, when this article was written it stood at 32,855. The hope is that each step will lead to a better deal that millions of farmers and workers in developing countries urgently need.

Many of the steps that will be taken around the country will involve bake-offs and tea parties using Fairtrade ingredients; tastings of the wide range of Fairtrade foods and drinks; quizzes and competitions on Fairtrade; fashion shows to showcase Fairtrade cotton; large public events that involve talks and films on Fairtrade; and the sharing of news about Fairtrade on Facebook and other social networking sites.

There’s already a lot of public goodwill towards Fairtrade, so it will be interesting to see how many step will have been taken by the end of the fortnight campaign towards the 2012 target. I wonder whether there’ll be more celebrities getting involved in the coming days? We’ll see…

Watch the trailer here:


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