Fairtrade Fortnight 2010: Fairtrade and IT

We’re in the middle of Fairtrade Fortnight and it seems like the most advertised one yet, with Cadbury’s adverts joining the push of this year’s “big swap” theme: replace some of the stuff you’d usually buy with Fairtrade alternatives.

For IT workers, this is easier said than done. It’s difficult enough to find more sustainably-produced products, let alone fairtrade ones. Our co-op has failed to achieve full marks on “Prioritise and promote Fairtrade and other ethical and sustainable initiatives” so far and I don’t expect us to reach 100% any time soon.

Just last Friday, Greenpeace International reported on more toxic electrical equipment, which shows that IT’s environmental sustainability is far from a solved problem. Meanwhile, it doesn’t seem like the fairness side is being addressed much yet. There are no fairtrade electrical product standards yet. Isn’t there demand for fairer as well as greener production?

Anyway, if you’re looking for faitrade products this fortnight, you could try some fairtrade chocolate from the New Internationalist worker co-op. Food is further along, which is a good thing because it’s pretty fundamental to life…

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