Big Hope by Sir Steve Redgrave
In 2007, I visited the Fairtrade cotton growing region in Mali, and I have to say I was both moved and inspired by how Fairtrade can make a real difference to people’s lives. The extra premium that cotton farmers had earnt had gone to build vital storage facilities, a small school and a maternity unit – it’s incredible how the Fairtrade movement can work through supply chains to make such an impact on the rural workers of Africa.
Two years later I visited the Kutch region in Gujarat in India, again it was heartening to see what a positive impact Fairtrade cotton growing has had on this community. Once again it illustrated how with effective organising the Fairtrade model can work anywhere in the World – Fairtrade is about improving the lives of farmers who have been disadvantaged by an unfair trading system.
The teamwork. The camaraderie. I saw the same things amongst the cotton workers in India as I discovered in sport. Strength through a common bond and shared experience. It made a huge impression on me.
I do my best to buy and try as much Fairtrade produce as I can, especially the pastas and the chocolate bars! It’s great to see how Fairtrade has evolved from coffee to cotton, and now even Fairtrade gold. I hope one day the Olympics will have Fairtrade gold medals.
Sir Steve’s FiveG Fairtrade range has been selling at Debenhams since 2008.