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.

Frome is fortunate to have many independent cafes and restaurants – check out our guide to eating Fairtrade this Valentine’s:

 The Garden Cafe – perfect for brunch or a delicious evening meal, The Garden Cafe has everything you could wish for. Devine cakes and delicious fairtrade teas and coffees. Its relaxed atmosphere is suitable for everyone; whether you’re out for a romantic meal just the two of you or a family lunchtime treat – they’re accommodating to all tastes and dietary requirements. Photo credit: 

The River House – if you’re looking for the perfect evening cocktail or a beautiful brekkie before a lovely day out then this cafe is the place for you! A young and vibrant team always deliver and cater for all tastes – they make gorgeous fairtrade coffee and have an array of tasty vegan treats on offer. Photo credit:

Fat Radish – Now a monthly occurrence, their food tasting events have become a huge hit in Frome; their menu offers something a little different for everyone. If you fancy a posh Valentine’s menu check them out! They’ll provide a true taste sensation. Photo credit:

Cafe La Strada – one of the most established cafes in Frome they offer Fairtrade coffees and speciality teas as well as amazing pastries from across the globe to tantalise your taste buds. In the evening they offer a romantic bistro menu – a must if you’re looking for somewhere quiet and intimate for your Valentines night. They also make their own ice cream with many flavours you wouldn’t find anywhere else! Photo credit:

Moo & Two – ethically sourced tea and coffee with locally sourced seasonal food, this little cafe has a great atmosphere and tailors your cuppa to exactly how you like it. Great for lunches and a romantic cup of coffee or Earl Grey…Photo credit:

The Archangel  – Frome’s Boutique Hotel and Restaurant The Archangel offers a varied menu, from Fairtrade coffees and loose leaf teas to cocktails and a deliciously fresh and seasonal menu for any time of day. It will certainly add a spot of glamour to your evening out! Photo credit:

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?

Here in Frome, we have a great many Fairtrade shops and store to explore. Here we interview Fine Fettle Fashion, to find out more about this ethical fashion company. They have a varied selection of fairtrade clothing, accessories, jewellery and gifts which are competitively priced. So read on to find out more…

What does Fine Fettle do?

FF is an independent retailer in the heart of Frome. We offer ethical women’s fashion of exceptional quality and at affordable prices. 

How long have you been in Frome?

 Fine Fettle opened its doors in Cheap Street in November 2013. We started our journey in Frome as a pop-up shop which soon became Fine Fettle with a longterm view towards promoting ethical fashion on the High Street. 

Why set your business up in Frome?

Not only is Frome a beautiful historic market town – it is a ‘Fairtrade Town’ with a community ready to embrace a more sustainable & ethical lifestyle. 

What 3 values do you hold most dear to your business?

Ethically sourced, sustainable quality and style with a pinch of the ‘unusual’

What Fairtrade or ethical products do you sell?

A large variety of fair-trade/ethical clothing, jewellery and accessories. 

Where do you get supplies from?

We support a large number of small producers from all over the world as well as British and even locally produced ranges. 

What makes you use fairtrade or ethical products?

We really do believe it is the way forward – an environment where people receive a fair wage and get to work in safe conditions using more sustainable materials. In return, our customers get to enjoy an item of clothing or jewellery of great quality and style – a purchase they can feel good about in every way! 

Do your customers know you use Fairtrade or ethical products?

We are constantly promoting our fairtrade products – chatting to our customers in the shop, through promotions such as special offers (also mentioned on social media i.e. Facebookand local events i.e. Frome fashion show a few month ago. 

Favourite ethical product?

I love a good organic cotton T-shirt made with care using organic dyes! But apart from that fairtrade coffee all the way and love Oxfam’s fairtrade shower & bath products!


Find out more about Fine Fettle Fashion here – over on their Facebook page.

Photo credit: Fine Fettle Fashion. 

Owner, Jo Smith, receiving the Silver in the Southwest Fairtrade Business Awards 2016; ‘Best fairtrade retailer-multiple products category’.

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.’



South West Fairtrade Business Awards 2014

Two Frome businesswomen won Silver at these annual awards: Christina Oswin who gained Fairtrade and Fairmined Gold status during the last 12 months and is developing an entire Fairtrade jewellery collection; and Jo Harrington who runs the Coffee Station cafe and is committed to all things Fairtrade and ethical in her business.

Fairtrade Fortnight 2014
A brilliant display by Oakfield School pupils won them 2 Fairtrade footballs

And a display in Fair Frome & the Town Council’s window highlighted that Fairtrade bananas are NOT more expensive than unfair ones. In fact, on the day this simple shopping task was made, the Fairtrade ones were cheapest:

Chocolate Festival November 2013
Our buried Fairtrade Treasure map to win a hamper of Fairtrade goodies was very popular!

Frome Carnival 2013
The Fairtrade team retain the Best Dressed Collectors cup with Rachel and Judy this time looking super fruity
Fairtrade Fortnight 2013
We ran a pop up cafe on Catherine Hill 
St John’s School children made a marvellous banner to advertise it for us
… and Sainsburys had their own Fairtrade tea party with the Mayor of Frome in attendance…
Fairtrade South West Business Awards

Frome Town Council replaced the town signs and we’re delighted they now feature the Fairtrade logo.


Ruth and Rachel won at cup at 2012 Frome Carnival by dressing up as Fairtrade Tea Ladies and being collectors along the route.






Fairtrade Fortnight 2012 – Every Step Counts


The year 5 & 6 children at Oakfield School drew around their footprints and decorated them with a pledge to raise awareness or to use Fairtrade products etc. 257 more steps were made to add to the national campaign. They used the footprints to make a giant logo in the hall.  
Following this they held a chocolate tasting and made Mother’s Day cards or presents with fairtrade chocolate.

Frome Festival 2011
At the Frome Festival Food Feast in July we served Fairtrade wine, orange juice, local apple juice and water. We were also offering Fairtrade chocolate and snacks!

Fairtrade Fortnight 2011 in Frome

Fairtrade Fortnight 2010 in Frome
Frome people could scarcely have failed to notice the Fairtrade Fortnight Banner which nestled coyly against the scaffolding at the lower end of Stony Street from 22nd February to 7th March this year.


The Fairtrade Frome group were once again actively at work trying to increase awareness and use of Fairtrade products (now more than 4500) in Frome. Now it’s not such uphill work as in 2003 when Frome became only the 11th town in Britain to become a Fairtrade Town. Most people today recognise the logo and many people regularly buy Fairtrade goods.

This year the emphasis was on tea; out of 165 million cups of tea drunk each day in Britain, only 10% are Fairtrade. So the national Fairtrade Foundation proposed the idea of the Big Swap – change your usual brand for a Fairtrade one. To try to encourage Frome residents to do this a variety of activities were planned.  On a sunny, if cold 5th March, our MP, David Heath took tea with the Mayor, Damon Hooton in the Westway Precinct, accompanied by a delicious Fairtrade Chocolate Brownie cake.

And on a grey and bitterly cold Saturday morning, members of Fairtrade Frome attempted to give away FREE tea bags, much to the distrust of some passers-by. Tea for two music was provided by our ‘Char Ladies’, Annabelle (accordion) and Julie (clarinet), with Paul on guitar. Leaflets exhorting people it was Time for a Fairly decent cup of tea, also informed them of Frome’s many cafes who now provide Fairtrade refreshments.Every year Frome’s schools enthusiastically join in the Fairtrade campaign. First & Middle Schools were invited to make collages from tea bags, leaves and stains.

Some held Mad Hatter’s tea parties and others sent photographs of the most unusual place to drink a cuppa to the local press.

Year 10 Food Technology students at Frome College were given a challenge. To plan, source and produce a tea party menu using as many Fairtrade ingredients as possible – the results were impressive…. and delicious. And, as part of the curriculum concerning food choices, eg, Fairtrade rather than non-Fairtrade, organic vs non-organic, the students actively learned about the importance of supporting both producers in the developing world as well as local farmers.


Apple Day
We provided Fairtrade refreshments for the successful Apple Day. There were hot drinks and apple juice as well as very popular Apple Cake made by the children of the Key Centre Nursery.
Go Bananas
Westway Precinct echoed to the sounds of Caribbean songs in praise of Fairtrade Bananas as Fairtrade Fortnight drew to a close The Fairtrade group in Frome, accompanied by the rhythmic singing and playing of Café Caliente – a banana band extraordinaire encouraged members of the public to sample Fairtrade bananas and give their support to the national campaign instigated by the Fairtrade Foundation.  See the band performing in Frome

Banana growers in the Developing World have terrible working conditions and their local environments are often ruined by toxic chemicals while they are kept in poverty by unfair trade rules. Three years ago a Banana grower from the Windward Island, Regina Joseph, visited Frome and told pupils at Hayesdown, Trinity and St Johns’ what a difference Fairtrade had made to her life. She now has a fair price for her bananas, can plan for the future, send her children to school and her community has a playing field and new school roof while she grows without toxic chemicals. Other growers will only have a life like Regina if we demand more Fairtrade bananas so the National campaign aims to tip the balance in the market so that by 2012 over 50% of bananas sold in UK will be Fairtrade ones.
Thanks to generosity of The Co-op, Marks and Spencer. Sainsbury and Somerfield – people in Frome  were being encouraged to change their buying habits. Look for the Fairtrade Logo when you next buy some bananas and know you are making a real difference, not only to the producer’s life, but that of their family and community as well.
Ready, Steady – Fairtrade – Cook
Following last year’s success of the Fairtrade version of Ready Steady Cook, on Wednesday 25 February, members of Fairtrade Frome organised a repeat performance at Frome Community College, the first Fairtrade event for Fairtrade Fortnight 2009.
Students and staff from the college worked with well-known local chefs to cook against the clock using Fairtrade and locally produced ingredients. Sarah Hillman, of African Kitchen, who has appeared on Come Dine With Me on BBC television, worked with Jo Love and Ian Carr, both of whom teach at Frome College. Her opponent was Ronnie Bonetti, Head Chef at Babington House, whose assistants were Jordan Andrews, Year 9, the winner and Harry Cornish, Year 11, runner up in this year’s Rotary Master Chef competition.
At the start of the contest, the two students presented Ronnie Bonetti with a Fairtrade cotton bag containing Fairtrade Chocolate, pineapple, walnuts and ginger biscuits. The teachers challenged Sarah Hillman to produce a savoury dish from Fairtrade rice, mango, cashew nuts and local chicken from Cayford’s Butchers.
This year’s compere was Keith Brindle, who was a teacher contestant last year. He interviewed the chefs during the cook-off, discovering that Ronnie Bonetti had trained in Australia, had then worked in the Caribbean and come to England to work at the River Café, before moving to Babington last year. While distracting Sarah Hillman from the cut and thrust of the competition, he found out that she had always enjoyed cooking and thought nothing of rustling up a meal for a 100 people. Most people in Frome will have sampled her unique east African dishes at Frome Festival’s Food Fest.
As the event took place during the last hour of school time, it was watched by an enthusiastic audience of students, staff, Principal Wendy Missons, local people and Cllr Blanche Farley, former Mayor, who was very keen to sample the dishes produced by the two teams. Keith led the audience in a noisy final countdown to the 30 minute challenge between the competitors. Then came the vote from the audience…. It was a close run thing, but in the end it was declared that Sarah and her teachers were the winners for their curried chicken, coconut and rice, which was accompanied by a mango salad. The runners-up made two delicious desserts: individual caramelised pineapple tart tatin and ginger cheesecakes.
Dinah Bardgett ended the entertaining afternoon by thanking everyone who had given their time, energy, help and hard work to the event: all the participants, Su King and her Food Technology team, the Media Arts team and the main provider of ingredients, the Co-op in Culverhill, Frome.
Fairtrade Frome Book Launch
Fairtrade Frome is an attractive, illustrated short history of Frome as a Fairtrade town. It was published in November 2008 by Food Frome. The launch was atended by Fred Rolfe of Food Frome and David Heath MP (Somerton and Frome). The book includes an insert of Fairtrade recipes by Alison Charlesworth. It is available at £1 from Hunting Raven Bookshop in Cheap Street, Frome, or direct from Fairtrade Frome.
Frome Directory 2008
The Frome Fairtrade Directory is all about consumer power. Your power to spend the money in your pocket in a way that directly changes the lives of poorer people in other countries. Please support the businesses and organisations in this directory and ensure that producers in developing countries get a fair deal.