If you are looking for fairtrade coffee, tea, or clothing then it may surprise you to find that it is already on the high street.
As of March 2006, Marks and Spencer converted all the coffee they sell to Fairtrade, with tea and clothing also quickly following.
So far they we are the only major retailer to do this, with tea following later in the year. They are also extending their commitment further through areas such as cotton, honey, chocolate, avocados, pineapples, mangoes and bananas.
Marks and Spencer already sold Fairtrade-only tea and coffee in their Caf?© Revive coffee shops, the sale of which helps to fund new health centres, roads and school facilities in countries such as Ethiopia, Honduras, Sumatra, Robusta, Peru and has enabled thousands of farmers worldwide to invest in their communities.
The Fairtrade cotton clothing they buy is providing farmers in India with fresh drinking water for a local school, health insurance for the farmers and health education for children.
Through the sale of Fairtrade coffee, they have also contributed towards many projects including the development of the Ngelle Gorbitu School in Ethiopia. Previously, there were approximately 50 children attending school in the community as it involved a one and a half hour journey on foot which included crossing a river. Since investment and development, approximately 590 children now attend.
This is one of 68 new schools currently under development within the communities of their producers, thanks to Fairtrade and the contributions from their coffee sales.
You can buy their fairtrade products online too.