“God gave us memory so that we might have roses in December” – I saw that quotation in the Reader’s Digest when I was a child and have never forgotten it. However, only now do I discover who said it – Peter Pan author JM Barrie – although he himself thought he was quoting from another writer.
Anyway, I might add these days that “God gave us Fairtrade so that we might have roses from Kenya in February…”
We always have flowers in the house – usually golden ones. In spring we have short-lived daffodils, in summer yellow roses, in autumn yellow chrysanthemums and this winter we are back to yellow roses again. Apart from the ones pictured above, as I chose orange Marks & Spencer Fairtrade roses for a change.
I have to say that these sturdy, leafy, straight-stemmed roses from Kenya are a revelation, compared to the usual roses, which I assume come from the Netherlands. They are also a good deal at about £8 for a hefty bunch and last at least a week if not two weeks. I’m told the longest they have lasted is 32 days!
Marks & Spencer is not the only store to sell these roses, as I believe Waitrose, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons and the Co-operative also stock them. The big flower delivery company Interflora also has some Fairtrade bouquets.
We are just coming up to Fairtrade Fortnight in the UK (25 February – 10 March) which highlights the support we can give to small farmers in developing countries who are hit by fluctuating prices and even climate change.
Fairtrade urges people to buy products carrying its mark and brings together supporters, retailers, manufacturers, producers and consumers.
Recently I have made more of an effort to buy Fairtrade and I now regularly eat Fairtrade bananas – usually they are nice and small.
I also love Divine Fairtrade chocolate from the local Oxfam shop. The Kuapa Kokoo farmers of Ghana not only receive a Fairtrade price for their cocoa, but they also own 45% of the company.
There are all sorts of other Fairtrade products – coffee, tea, fruit and vegetables, cotton goods, beauty products – and even gold! Here’s a link to the Fairtrade website.
The problems of the world often seem huge and insurmountable. But it does seem easy to do a little bit towards change for the better – just by looking out for the logo and making different choices when shopping. Think of all the hard-working communities of men, women and children, who benefit…