Breakfast in bed with a panda?

Have you ever wanted to get close to the WWF panda? Well now’s your chance. This Saturday, March 12th, to celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight, 10 years of being a Fairtrade Borough and Surrey achieving Fairtrade status, we’re hosting a free breakfast at the Living Planet Centre and you can have your photo taken having breakfast (Fairtrade, of course) in bed with the panda. Feel free to come along in your pyjamas or onesies.

The idea is just a bit of fun but the point is serious. Every year millions of the farmers and producers who grow much of the food we eat and drink at breakfast – tea, coffee, banana’s, sugar, honey, fruit juice and some of the ingredients on your jam, marmalade or chocolate spread, go hungry at some times of the year. There are different names for this in different parts of the world. The thin months. The hungry months. The months of the big belly.

Choosing to buy Fairtrade products means you are helping the farmers so they don’t experience this. And if you want to find out if this is true, come along on Saturday and meet Julio, a Fairtrade banana farmer from Colombia, who’ll be joining us for breakfast. He knows first hand the difference Fairtrade has made to him, his family and his community. Watch a two minute film about Julio here.

Join us between 9.30am until 10.30am, Saturday 12th March at the Living Planet Centre.

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What do you like for breakfast?

Ever since my teenage son decided he liked granola two years ago we’ve been making granola. Oats lightly cooked in a mix of sunflower oil and Fairtrade honey, and mixed with cranberries, seeds and a handful of Fairtrade raisins. Sometimes we chop up some banana – Fairtrade, of course – and add that to the granola. Along with my mug of Clipper tea I can definately say I have a Fairtrade breakfast almost every day. What about you?

Fairtrade Fortnight kicks off today and it’s a chance for all of us to take stock of the everyday choices we make and consider how they make a difference to the lives of others. The sad reality is that many of those who grow some of our favourite foods don’t always have enough to eat themselves. These times have different names – the hungry months, the months of the big stomach, the thin months, the months of water.

So this Fairtrade Fortnight we’re asking you to have a Fairtrade breakfast – on your own, with family, at work. Wherever you can. You could even get together with friends and have a fun breakfast in your PJ’s and onesies. It doesn’t even have to be in the morning. Click here to find out more.

In Woking we are thrilled that we will be visited by Julio Mercado Cantillo, a Fairtrade banana producer from Colombia. There’s a 2 minute film here all about him and how Fairtrade has helped his family. You can even come and meet him over breakfast at The Living Planet Centre on Saturday 12th March when some of us will be gathering to celebrate 10 years of Fairtrade in Woking.

We hope to see you there.

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Where to get the stuff

This morning Billie and I were on Radio Woking for an hour chatting about all things Fairtrade. We mentioned a few products which get us excited so here are a few details of where to get them.

Fairtrade espresso pods

Love your morning espresso? Well you can make it a Fairtrade espresso by buying pods from Cafedirect.


Many of us love our mobile phones but the supply chain which produces many of the raw materials required to make them work is dirty. With billions of us using mobile phones now and replacing them every few years it’s time to clean up mobile phone production. The Fairphone is a product designed to start that process. You can find out more here and you can pre-order the new Fairphone 2 here.

Planning to pop the question this Valentine’s Day?

If you are then have a serious think about choosing Fairtrade gold wedding rings. What could be a better way to show you care

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Sit down for breakfast, stand up for farmers!

Fairtrade Fortnight 2016 is a double celebration for Woking people as we’re celebrating both Woking Borough’s 10 years of Fairtrade status AND Surrey gaining Fairtrade countBreakfasty status for the first time. The theme is Sit down for breakfast, stand up for farmers. Please get involved, here’s how:

  1. We’ll have a Woking Big Fairtrade Celebration Breakfast at WWF’s Living planet Centre on Sat 12th March, 9.30-10.30am, please put this date in your calendar now.
  2. But we’d also love as many of you as possible to host your own Fairtrade breakfasts 29th Feb-13th March, (we realise some of these may have to be at different times of the day to fit in with your school/toddler/book/church/uniformed group’s normal time) but why not encourage people to come in pyjamas or make it feel breakfasty in some other way! All you need to do is include a few Fairtrade food items (bananas, geobars etc are easy, or if you bake, homemade muffins might be nice!) in with a Fairtrade cuppa at your usual meetings. Or invite neighbours and friends around for a special breakfast.

We’d like to include photos from your Fairtrade breakfasts in the event on the 12th March (and in local press coverage), so please do take plenty of snaps and send us your best (by 10th March). The Fairtrade Foundation has various FREE resources to help you, including posters, church, schools & mosque action guides, stickers, postcards etc. There will be a short film too nearer the time and a place to add your breakfast to the totaliser on the Fairtrade Foundation website.

Please do let us know if you’re plann
ing on holding a Fairtrade breakfast
, even if it’s just to include some Fairtrade info and breakfast items in an event that you regularly do anyway. We’d love to support you if we can. And don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions.

Thanks for being part of a movement of people who are making the world a fairer place!

Billie and Becca



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Fairtrade Glad Tidings of Good News

We thought we’d bring some Fairtrade glad tidings of good news into your Christmas season! Woking has just renewed it’s Fairtrade Borough status. Thank you to all of you who buy Fairtrade and spread the word about it, you’re all part of this good news.

We are starting to prepare for next Fairtrade Fortnight so watch this space as we’ll have details of the plans for Woking in the new year. If you want to startFT14 2016 planning your o
wn event Fairtrade Fortnight will run from 29th February to 13 March 2016 and it’s going to be all about breakfast as we’re going to be sitting down for breakfast and standing up for Fairtrade. Do think about which group of friends, family or work colleagues you could plan a Fairtrade breakfast with and share with them some of the reasons why Fairtrade is good news.

There are more details on the Fairtrade Foundation website here.

You will have seen in the news this weekend that the Paris climate talks have reached agreement. This is good news for farmers, including our Fairtrade producers who are already reporting the negative effects of climate change. Of course the climate agreement still needs to be implemented and governments around the world will need continued pressure from citizens to do the right thing on this rather than the cheapest/least effort.

So WWF will be running a campaign in February called “Show the Love” which is all about protecting the things we love from climate change. As they are based in Woking and are Surrey’s flagship Fairtrade employer we’re happy to give their campaign a big plug. Whether it’s Polar Bears or our global neighbours, coffee or the English coastline, they are asking people to join in on Valentine’s Day and wear a green heart to help raise awareness of climate change.

There are two great ways that both individuals and groups can get involved:

1. Show the Love with your green heart – WWF are inviting people to sew, bake or make green hearts to wear during Valentine’s week. There are resource packs available for individuals, church groups, schools, mum’s groups, WI groups etc for ideas. If you run a group maybe you could include this activity in your plans for Feb.

2. Good News Day – On 11 February they will be inviting people and groups/businesses to post on social media what they are doing to tackle climate change and start conversations by using #showthelove. WWF is able to deliver comms packs to groups w/c 25th January which will include suggested posts, images, content and green heart emoji! Contact Jo Higgs if you are interested ( ) It would be great if we could get Woking swathed in green hearts!

Hope this good news encourages you that it is possible for us here in Woking to make the world a fairer place. And thanks for reading to the bottom.

Happy Christmas!

Billie and Becca

Woking Fairtrade Action Network


PS If you are stuck for last minute present ideas, you can’t go wrong with Fairtrade coffee or chocolate!


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Matt’s run for the Fairtrade Kids Tour

On Sunday, come rain or shine, I’ll be cheering Woking resident Matt Trojanovich as he runs the London marathon. As with the fundraising we did at our main Fairtrade Fortnight event, Matt is trying to raise funds for Trading Visions, a small UK  fair trade educational charity, which will be bringing two kids over from Ghana in June who will tour the UK, speaking to kids in schools here and attending Fairtrade schools conferences.

The idea of young people from Ghana and the UK being able to meet and share insights from their own lives is close to my heart. I love the idea of children from rural cocoa growing communities being able to tell children here about the difference Fairtrade has made to the lives of their families and communities. And I love the idea that our young people come face-to-face with the impact of their shopping decisions. When they can snapchat and instagram friends all over the world, they need to know too that when they buy a chocolate bar or banana the choices they make have consequences elsewhere.

In the same vein, I’d like to think many schools will be taking part in Fashion Revolution Day in just two days’ time (Friday 24th April) as part of raising awareness among our young people about just how interconnected our world is today. (If you’re a teacher reading this, there are some great resources for schools on both the Fashion Revolution website as well as on the Trading Visions website).

One of the aspects that I’m really excited about is that we think we’ve found a venue in Woking for one of the Fairtrade schools conferences which means the two kids will be coming here in just two months time. I’m sincerely hoping Matt can meet them – not something most marathon charity runners get to do!

If you’d like to join me in supporting Matt at the marathon, look out for the Fairtrade banners on Birdcage Walk just inside St. James’ Park. And if you’d like to sponsor him Matt’s employer is matching funding so you can make your money go further. His fundraising site is here.

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Fairtrade Fortnight 2015 in Woking

It’s that time of year again when we are thinking about how to promote Fairtrade in Fairtrade Fortnight (23 February-8 March 2015). This year the key message for Fairtrade Fortnight this year is ‘Choose Products that Change Lives’.

We’re pleased to say that we’ve got another fantastic event lined up for you to come along to, invite your friends to, and even volunteer to help at.

WOKING CHOCOLATE TASTING & FUNDRAISER – On 7.30pm Friday 27th February  we’re going to hold a fantastic chocolate tasting event with Tom Allen from Trading Visions (, a small charity which works with Divine Chocolate. We don’t usually aim to raise money with our events but this year is special, local resident Matt Trovanovich will be running the London Marathon in April to raise funds for Trading Visions and we’d like to help this cause. All the funds we raise will go towards Trading Visions bringing two children from cocoa growing communities in Ghana to the UK to visit schools and talk about the difference Fairtrade has made to their lives. So please do support the event, it will be a great evening out and will help spread the word about Fairtrade even further through raising money to enable the schools tour to happen in June/July.   We’re delighted that WWF are letting us use the Living Planet Centre again for our event. Tickets are £10 which will include chocolate and a glass of wine/juice, so why not make up a table of friends? Please contact Becca ( for tickets.

VOLUNTEERS – We know you are an amazing bunch, always willing to support our efforts to promote Fairtrade in Woking. We’re going to need about 10 volunteers on the evening of 27th February so do let us know if you can help out. There’s a few jobs to do beforehand too, such as writing a press release, contacting potential sponsors, organising information stalls, planning volunteer help, and promoting the event. If you’d like to get involved and have some spare time we’d love to hear from you.

GET THE FILM – The Fairtrade Foundation has produced a beautiful and moving film called Fairtrade Matters about a tea grower and a tea worker in Malawi who share how Fairtrade has changed their lives. We would encourage you to find opportunities where it can be shown. The film (and other resources) can be ordered from here as a DVD and will be available to download too. It can be used with subtitles so if you have a screen where it can be played on a loop in the background, perhaps in your place of worship or workplace, that would be great. There will be a much shorter version (90 seconds) available too.

TRAIDCRAFT BIG BREW – As usual, Traidcraft is running its Big Brew and resources are available here. For those of you holding a Big Brew event we would encourage you to screen the Fairtrade Matters film which will work well with such events.   

I DO – The Fairtrade Foundation launched the I DO campaign earlier this month to encourage people getting married to choose Fairtrade gold wedding rings.  There’s a dedicated website which lists places to buy Fairtrade wedding rings and it has some great stories of couples getting married (and a competition to win a pair of Fairtrade gold wedding rings worth £1500).

So, there’s plenty of ways to get involved but the easiest by far is simply to choose Fairtrade products when you shop. That way you can change lives.

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