For decades there was no real justice for farmers and suppliers whose product origination was the third world or from developing countries. The basis - of which is still true today in some form, is to get cheap labour and therefore cheap products by any means for sale in Western countries.
This is still the case and while there are growing statutes of law that ensures there are minimum wage demands in local economies worldwide and the United Nations and various external governments carry out checks on sources of products and services. It is apparent that the Fairtrade mark has an outstanding reputation when it comes to buyer's confidence.
Which is why, in 2003, Kendal Council applied for and was approved as a Fairtrade town. This ensures that growers, manufacturers and farmers across the world receive a fair price for the products they sell.
There is something slightly unnerving about digesting food created or farmed by people who cannot afford to feed themselves on the wages they are being paid. Or buying clothes that are the result of a sweatshop and where children work or women work twenty hours a day until they fall ill.
The Fairtrade emblem ensures workers within the business which provide products are treated fairly, that they receive a minimum and fair wage and that the environment is safe and healthy. The Fairtrade town status allows people in the UK and Kendal to know without a doubt, that the product they are purchasing has not been produced through ill gains and mistreatment of staff.
Firstly the local council must pass a resolution supporting Fairtrade, agreeing to serve Fairtrade coffee and tea at its meetings and in its offices and canteens. Then the committee must ensure that Fairtrade products are available in the shops within the town and offered in at least two local cafes or restaurants.
Of course this requires that action and mobility of more than just the council, the retailers and shop owners must be interested also. In which case, at least ten local businesses and organisations should be selling or offering Fairtrade products to the public and its staff.
The town council should engage the media and get public popular support for the Fairtrade campaign, and that a local Fairtrade steering group ensures the continued commitment to its Fairtrade Town status.
For consumers, it can be a difficult task to understand where different products are and how to get them for the deal that is best for you, but shopping guides includes all of this information, and is therefore very useful for those looking to make the most of their shopping experience.
While a lot of people expect fairtrade products to cost considerably more than a non-fairtrade alternative, and in some cases they're correct in this assumption, in the majority of cases this is actually incorrect. If you take coffee or tea as an example, using fairtrade products could cost you as little as a couple of pence more per day in most cases - certainly something most people would find affordable.