This year Fairtrade Fortnight runs from 26th February – 11th March highlighting how buying Fairtrade can ‘Open Doors’.
Fairtrade Frome will be showing the film The True Cost (2015) at Frome Town Hall on 1st March, doors open 7pm.

This is a story about clothing. It’s about the clothes we wear, the people who make them, and the impact the industry is having on our world. The price of clothing has been decreasing for decades, while the human and environmental costs have grown dramatically. The True Cost is a groundbreaking documentary film that pulls back the curtain on the untold story and asks us to consider, who really pays the price for our clothing?

Filmed in countries all over the world, from the brightest runways to the darkest slums, and featuring interviews with the world’s leading influencers including Stella McCartney, Livia Firth and Vandana Shiva, The True Cost is an unprecedented project that invites us on an eye-opening journey around the world and into the lives of the many people and places behind our clothes.

Entry is Free. Fairtrade refreshments will be available. Open to all, the film is rated 12.

How fascinating it is to have a glimpse into someone else’s working life.

Meeting Christina in her workshop with her assistant, Jess, and watching while they created beautiful earrings and rings from silver was a magical experience. Chris has been a jeweller for 21 years, 13 in Frome and 8 years at 3 Bath Street. She makes handmade silver and gold jewellery. Her decision to work in Frome was made easy by knowing of the high concentration of makers and craft people in the town, who provide a supportive network of other artists.




The three values she holds most dear in her business are:

Firstly, customer service and valuing loyal purchasers.

Secondly, having an ethical stamp: being both ethical and environmentally sensitive, she uses recycled silver and Fairtrade gold and gemstones. Both of these are far more accessible than previously.

Thirdly, through participation in an organisation called FLUX, a Fair Luxury Networking group which shares information about sourcing and suppliers.  The group also lobbies companies to become more ethical. They have an annual conference focussing on creating ethical jewellery.

The Fairtrade and ethical products she uses and sells include recycled silver and Fair-mined gold, platinum, rubies, sapphires and tanzanite. Until now Fairtrade diamonds and silver are not yet available, but ethical jewellers are working towards changing this situation. She explained that she gets her supplies of Fairtrade gold from Peru (and FT gold will be coming soon from Africa). A Fairtrade number – the FLO  ID – tracks supplies back to the source. Her stones come directly from Tanzania and Sri Lanka. The ability to track back to the producers is crucial,  as is the direct link between them and the jewellers.

When asked what makes her use these Fairtrade products, she described the history of mining as extremely dangerous, exploitative and disastrous for the environment. The network of Fairtrade jewellers, through their contacts, seeks to change this rapacious situation.

Chris spoke enthusiastically about the Bath Christmas Market where the jewellers are local artists using Fairtrade raw materials. In her own, personal life Chris, both at home and at work, chooses always to use Fairtrade products. She is a key member of Fairtrade Frome, especially at carnival time. It was a real pleasure to have the opportunity to see her at work.


It’s 2018! Happy New Year everyone! Have you made some New Year resolutions?  Why not make one of them buying fairtrade? You can easily swap your regular items for fairtrade in a number of high street and supermarkets as well as independent retailers.  There are over 4000 Fairtrade products from coffee, chocolate and tea to flowers, gold and cotton. Choosing Fairtrade for 2018 is an easy way to help make a positive difference to millions of people around the world.

We put together our top buys and fairtrade favourites to give you a helping hand in switching one or two items in your basket to make a difference this year!

If you’re embracing Dry January there are loads of fairtrade non-alcoholic products on the market. Our member Rebecca loves Fairtrade Karma Cola available from Waitrose.  

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Our member Dinah loves Olive Oil by Zaytoun available from Oxfam or online at or Frome Wholefood shop.

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Member Jane enjoys Fairtrade honey. You can get fairtrade honey from a whole range of places. Equal Exchange Organic Raw Honey can be found on which sells a huge range of fairtrade products.

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If you won’t be doing Dry January then member Alison recommends Lidl’s Fairtrade Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon Rose – for under £5 this wine is a bargain!

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Our member Ann regularly buys fairtrade cards and wrapping paper from Traidcraft – they sell the widest range of fairtrade products in the UK. Buy online or visit their Gateshead store.

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Member Judy absolutely loves Clipper Seriously Velvety Instant Hot Chocolate – making sure there is always some in the cupboard.

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So why not replace one item in your regular shop with a fairtrade product?

Frome Chocolate Festival celebrated its 8th anniversary this year and we were there to promote the Fairtrade message. 

 Every year is a fantastic event –  a fabulous collection of Chocolatiers, Artisan cake makers, raw chocolate experts, confectioners and sweet makers. There were chocolate bars, truffles, unusual chocolate gifts and seasonal delights. 

 This year the event also highlighted and supported Frome Children’s Festival, which provided activities to keep the younger visitors happy. Local charity WHY (We Hear You) also held a chocolate raffle and sold Christmas cards.

We ran some fun competitions – guess the number of Fairtrade chocolate coins in the jar and a taste test – to see if people could tell the difference between fairtrade and non-fairtrade chocolate. Thankfully, Fairtrade won!

We will be back there next year, so watch this space! Find out who stocks Fairtrade chocolate here!

As part of the ‘Don’t ditch Fairtrade’ weekend campaign on 28th October, Frome residents delivered a petition to Steve Jones, Sainsbury’s Frome Manager to challenge Sainsbury’s decision to abandon the Fairtrade mark on some of its own-brand tea in favour of its own scheme.
Fairtrade Frome members Judy Annan and Ann Taylor who organised the event, said: “It’s estimated nearly a quarter of a million tea farmers and workers will be affected by this move. We wanted to bring attention to the residents of Frome the ‘Don’t Ditch Fairtrade’ campaign and the fact that Sainsbury’s is changing their stance to Fairtrade. British tea drinkers account for three-quarters of Fairtrade tea sales globally, with Sainsbury’s as the world’s largest retailer of Fairtrade. Sainsbury’s has previously been a true leader in the retail sector with their support of Fairtrade products, making a real difference to the lives of workers and their families in some of the world’s poorest countries. We’d like them to reconsider this step away from Fairtrade for their own-brand tea.”
Fairtrade guarantees tea producers receive an additional premium payment – on top of the price for their tea – to invest in their businesses and communities as they see fit. Frome campaigners are concerned that tea farmers will lose control of the social premium they would earn under Sainsbury’s alternative scheme, with suppliers instead having to apply to a UK-based board for their funding. 
The protests are part of a nationwide campaign supported by CAFOD, Christian Aid, The Women’s Institute, Traidcraft Exchange and Tearfund calling on the supermarket to reconsider this pilot scheme.
Fairtrade Frome also said stated “We’re worried that standards will be controlled by Sainsbury’s – and are not set independently. Tea farmers will not be represented in the scheme’s governance – a stark contrast to Fairtrade certification where producers are part of deciding how standards are set, monitored and reviewed.”
Fairtrade Frome was established as the 11th Fairtrade town in Britain more than 15 years ago and has encouraged Sainsbury’s from the very beginning to include Fairtrade goods in their store.
To find out more about us check out our website here



Sit down for breakfast and stand up for farmers

Martin Luther King once said “Before you finish eating breakfast in the morning, you’ve depended on more than half the world”. Today, maybe you had tea from India, coffee from Ethiopia or bananas from Colombia? Millions of those farmers who grow the food we enjoy still have a season of the year when their families go hungry themselves – the “times of silence” or “the thin months”.

It’s easy to make a difference to this situation yourself: simply choose to buy Fairtrade when you can. It’s Fairtrade Fortnight and people all over the country and making their breakfasts count this year.   Already 12,285 have registered their Fairtrade breakfast event.

The Fairtrade Frome committee couldn’t all meet in the morning so opted for a 5pm breakfast at The Three Swans where they enjoyed Fairtrade tea and coffee, delicious chocolate cake, dates, bananas, perhaps even a cheeky whisky it being a late, late breakfast!

Here’s the difference it makes to Foncho Cantillo, a banana farmer in Colombia:

‘We experienced very difficult times when we weren’t in Fairtrade… the banana business barely provided enough for basic meals. It was very worrying to have children and know you couldn’t provide the opportunity for the life they deserve. Being in Fairtrade makes me very happy, knowing that there are opportunities to achieve some of the goals I had planned.’