Fair trade in the time of Covid

It’s safe to say that not a single person reading this will have remained untouched by Covid. Some will have had the virus, many will know people who have suffered or even died from it, and pretty much all of us will have been greatly affected in terms of our work, finances, education and/or daily lives. But what is the impact on those usually supported by fair trade and on the countries they live in?

Our news tells us lots about the UK but little about developing countries where lockdowns are resulting in great suffering through the poorest people losing their income and no longer being able to feed their families. At this time of global crisis, we all want to do what we can to help. 2022 update: whilst in the initial lockdown, physical fair trade shops had to close, although some managed to trade online, they have now managed to re-open (at least partially). Please try and support them where you can. Local to York, dedicated fair trade outlets include Fairer World and  Shared Earth.

Borehole in Ghana paid for by the Fairtrade premium from sales of Divine chocolate

Borehole in Ghana paid for by the Fairtrade premium from sales of Divine chocolate


The Shared Earth website includes updates on the situation in various overseas countries  and there is more information about the Just Giving sites they have set up to support their most vulnerable suppliers.

Of course,  you can also make the choice to buy fairly traded products in other shops where available. Alligator Wholefoods on Fishergate has a bigger range of fair trade goods than most, see their Facebook page for details.

If you are able,  you can also support charities that help mitigate the potentially devastating effects of the virus on developing countries which lack anything like our clean water and sanitation systems. These include Water Aid, Toilet Twinning, Bin Twinning and Tap Twinning. Their webpages have more information, including activities for children.