26 February 2009
Students hear-first hand about the impact of Fairtrade.
LJMU Students attended a special International Business Ethics lecture in the Liverpool Business School by Bernard Ranaweera, President of the Small Organic Farmer’s Association (SOFA), as one of many events taking place during Fairtrade fortnight to raise awareness of the importance of ethical sourcing.
Bob Doherty, Senior Lecturer in Social Enterprise & Corporate Responsibility at LJMU, introduced the lecture, which looked at the need for ethical and sustainable farming and the impact Fairtrade has had by assisting suppliers in areas such as land development, education, social and economical development.
Bernard told students about the vision of SOFA: “To establish a environmentally friendly, agriculturally developed, economically empowered community while treating them in a equal manner”. SOFA is a democratic association with a general assembly of 252 members and elected president. They provide tea and spices to ASDA and the London Tea Company, and have been recognised by and working with Fairtrade since 1998.
Thanks to organisations such as Fairtrade, consumers are now becoming more aware of where their products are sourced and are increasingly factoring ethics into their purchasing decisions. This explains the phenomenal growth in the turnover of Fairtrade produce, which has experienced an annual increase of around 45% since 1997.
Pictured: Bob Doherty, Bernard Ranaweera and Hugh Prior (Fairtrade Foundation).