Fair Trade Blog


The definition of fair trade

Give a man a fish and you feed for a day. Teach a man how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime

The famous Chinese Proverb

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”. This is a very good way to justify Fair trade, as it invests in people and communities. We all know Fair trade is a good thing, but how does it work? Where and why did Fair trade start? Is it a fair deal for everybody? These are a few of the questions I get asked.

The myth of Fair Trade

The common mistake most people make is that because workers get a "Fair Wage" they are paid more and products will be very expensive. Not at all, fair trade products are now becoming cheaper than goods from countries like China. Sometimes goods are a little more expensive, but this is because of the Fairtrade Premium, the extra money that is being invested in projects like hospitals and schools in the local community, which will have a long term positive effect. A Fairtrade minimum price has to be set to cover the production of the goods and proof needs to be shown the a fair wage is paid to the employee this is set by Fairtrade International. If the market price is higher than this price, the buyer must pay that higher price as a minimum.

The History of Fair Trade

The Fairtrade concept was conceived just after World War II as a form of charity advocated by non-governmental religious organisations in the USA. where they would buy products from poorer countries, mainly Africa, and sell them in their churches. The main charity was Self Help Crafts (Now trading as Ten Thousand Villages) and began buying needlework from Puerto Rico in 1946. Now the range of products has greatly expanded from cushions to gold! Over the past seventy years the concept has radically changed in structure, philosophy and its approach becoming more beneficial. Fair Trade only really began to take hold in the 1970s, and then following the first Fairtrade labelling (1988) it began to be a business success, but it was only after the turn of the century Fairtrade foods started to make a real impact. In 2003 Fairtrade UK sales was just under £100million and in 2012 over one and a half billion pounds!
Building on its success with food and drink, Fairtrade started to expand with companies and artisans creating products such as ornaments, homeware and clothing accessories. These are hand-made, eco-friendly, inventive and of high quality.

My onlin, Voyage Fairtrade, loves these Fairtrade products! That is why as well as helping artisans in poorer countries to have a fulfilled life and a better standard of living, we are now selling some fantastic unique items. Please see our range, a treat for yourself or great for gifts, and support the Fairtrade movement at www.voyagefairtrade.com or follow us at Facebook.


My first business meeting with a supplier: Aspiration International!

They kindly picked us up from our hotel and took us to their headquarters. Wow, they were so accommodating, always offering us char (Indian tea) and drinks of water. They had brought several artisans from all over northern India to meet up with Voyage Fairtrade! One guy had travelled 11 hours just to show us his products!!

It was amazing the number of products they sold! What they kept saying to me was they could change the dimensions, material and/or design of anything. They had thousands of goods, some were too antique-looking and ornate for Voyage’s range, but some designs were trendy and contemporary. They said they could put my logo on any of the products.

After talking with the artisans and staff and taking photos, we were introduced to the founder of Aspiration International, Padam, aged 84. Padam then invited us to his home for dinner. We had a fantastic meal with him and his family. Everyone was so nice and friendly. In spite of still feeling pretty jet-lagged, I enjoyed it all.



Indian music is so relaxing and beautiful espially when it wakes you up when someone starts playing outside on the street!

Jackson Pollock would have had a field day today: paint everywhere…..vivid orange, red, purple, green, yellow and blue! All due to the fact it’s the festival of Holi and the Indians celebrate by throwing paint (powdered) at each other (and unsuspecting tourists). Holi is an ancient Hindu festival which signifies the victory of good over evil and when people celebrate the beginning of spring, play and laugh, forgive and forget AND chuck paint at each other! Anyone is fair game; no one is safe from this crazy paint throwing!

At the beginning of the day, we did not fancy going out and risking it, so we thought we would just play it safe and simply go into the hotel reception to use the computer and….the security guard, laughing his head off, chucked a load of paint at us….

Enjoying paint throwing at the Holi Festival

Voyage and staff at the hotel enjoying Holi Festival

After that, we thought this could be fun - let’s go out and have some more of this!! We decided to go to India Gate. Sure enough, we were attacked again. Everyone was laughing and having a really good time. Now we were getting more of a multi-coloured look. We then walked to Connaught Place (the main financial and business centre in Delhi) On the way, we were approached by a man with a basket who then sat down in front of us, lifted the lid on the basket to reveal a cobra in full strike mode. The guy asked me to hold the basket and then put a very small pathetic-looking snake around Dad’s neck. We asked a passing soldier to take some photos, as you do! At least we knew we were safe! In Connaught Place, which is one of the largest financial, commercial and business centres, a couple arrived in Tuck-Tuck and the girl came over and gave Dad and I a real dusting of bright yellow and red on the side of his head. Children were getting involved in Holi in a big way – often throwing balloon water bombs and then hiding behind a wall and giggling :)!

Me at Connaught Place, Delhi after an Indian spatters me with paint!

Outside Connaught Place, at Holi Festival

On a more serious note, there is such a difference between different areas of Delhi; the Connaught Place area actually had litter bins, zebra crossings, traffic lights. All nice and green – and no sign of cows showing the extent of the contrast of the rich and poor!

Anyway, I am going to sleep now, I am absolutely whacked and need to be on top form tomorrow as I am meeting Aspiration International who are picking me up at 10a.m.

Day 1: The Scam

Wow!! What a start! We have not been here, in Delhi, for more than 20 hours but certainly a lot has happened!

We landed around 3a.m. Coming out of the airport we saw a pre-paid taxi stand. Thinking this was the way to avoid a well-known scam of being taken to the wrong hotel and where the owner pays the taxi driver for delivering potential customers to him, we approached the taxi rank. We were staying at Aerocity Hotel, but had been warned in advance that the driver might take us instead to Aerocity Hotel Inn. The driver said, however, that he would take us to Aerocity Hotel. I did not trust him though, but it was 3am and it’s not always easy to have your wits about you at that time! Our hotel, The Aerocity was 7Km away, but we were there straight away – which seemed suspicious… and, sure enough, the driver had taken us to the Inn. Both of us were livid! Dad got really angry telling him to drop us off or go back to the airport! I got my phone out to check the time and Dad said, “That’s right, Sam – call the police!” I thought that was a good idea (!?) but couldn’t get reception. Then the driver was saying, “No problem, no problem. I find it. I need time.” Eventually he delivered us to our hotel and asked for his money. We weren’t having it and jumped out and got the bags from the boot, arguing with him all the time and walked into the hotel. We told them what had happened, the taxi driver came in and everyone was arguing in Hindi and English. They said they would upgrade our room and we started to walk up. I turned round to see the taxi driver standing in disbelief and Dad (now truly jet-lagged and almost with smoke coming out of his ears) shouting, “You are pathetic! PATHETIC!!”

We then collapsed into our beds and slept for a few hours. When we woke up, Dad asked if I wanted a drink. I said yes, so he went outside to buy one. He was away for over an hour! Apparently, coming back he missed the hotel and walked for a mile trying to find it! Illustrating the hyper activity of Delhi.

We then took a taxi to our next hotel in the centre of Delhi, the Pearl Hotel. The roads are crazy! You can almost smash into cows walking along the road, there are people selling flowers to the drivers at traffic lights and people cycling pulling carts of overflowing with planks of wood!

Workers in Delhi cycling to Work

At the Pearl Hotel we had lunch on the roof. I had chicken curry with garlic naan bread which was the best meal ever! Things were definitely looking up! Dad just watched the pigeons!

Then we went to the market in a Tuck-Tuck which was FUN! I was almost banging into cars! The market was frantic, however, there was nothing interesting being sold, it was all essentials. Everyone came up to you, all smiling and happy, trying to sell products and services to foreigners. We either ignored them or took the mick (I did anyway) e.g. someone asked if I wanted money exchanged. I held out my hand and said 1 million rupees. He said, “Sorry, sir, I don’t have that much” and walked away! Bit harsh. Because of the Holi festival we kept getting hit by water balloons thrown by children. Then we eventually found our way back to the hotel and slept for the rest of the day!

Because we have been thinking about our new Chicken Egg Basket, Chicken Egg Cup and Chicken Ornament made us begin to think about how to store eggs

In fact, eggs in general. Here are some amazing facts we have found out after our eggstensive research….(sorry!)
  • ‘No man can eat 50 eggs!’ Our post could not fail to mention without referring to one of our all-time fave films Cool Hand Luke. In fact I got my middle name 'Luke' due to my mother loving the film. If you haven’t seen the film, click on the picture below to see the famous 50 eggs eating scene on YouTube. We love it!

No Man Can Eat 50 Eggs

How many ways of cooking eggs are there?

Let us count the ways….Well, there’s:
  1. Fried eggs
  2. Scrambled eggs
  3. Boiled egg
  4. Poached eggs
  5. Eggs Benedict
  6. French Omelette
  7. Spanish omelette
  8. Eggs mimosa
  9. Quiche
  10. Meringue

Don’t keep eggs in the fridge

A real surprise! It seems that keeping all your eggs in one basket isn’t such a bad idea after all! An egg shell doesn’t perfectly seal its contents from the outside world; it’s actually full of millions of miniscule holes. That means an egg can absorb odours from other foods nearby, like half-onions, strong cheese and other smelly stuff you keep in the fridge.
  • So leave them on the worktop in a Voyage Fairtrade Chicken Basket (!) and use them before their best-before date.

Chicken or the Egg?

  • Which came first the chicken or the egg? This is the age-old question that philosophers and scientists continuously debate. On the QI programme the ‘correct’ answer was identified as The Egg, based on the existence of egg-laying animals before the evolution of chickens, so there!
  • The Guinness World record for the largest omelette is held by Portuguese chefs using 145,000 free range eggs also having to use 880lbs of oil, 220lbs of butter and that’s no yolk! They cooked this amazing omelette as part of an annual three-day festival that takes place in the town of Ferreira do Zêzere.
  • We all love eggs! In 2009, an estimated 62.1 million metric tons of eggs were produced worldwide from a total laying flock of approximately 6.4 billion hens!

So I bet now you are intrigued to click here to see our chicken ornament and eggs
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