Support Fairtrade Fortnight through ethical finance

27 February 2009 / by Rebecca Sargent
In the midst of Fairtrade Fortnight 2009 and a recession, is raising awareness of the potential to support good causes through everyday finance

Fairtrade Fortnight 2009 is now well underway, and as local communities meet to raise awareness of Fairtrade through various events, is reminding people that they can also support Fairtrade and other good causes through their finances.

During a recession, charity donations can fall by the wayside – research from found that 22 per cent of Brits have already cut back on this area since the credit crunch began.

However, by buying Fairtrade goods, or using companies that support Fairtrade and other worthy causes, people can indirectly help those in need.

Ethical banks such as the Co-operative and Triodos support Fairtrade through both the products on offer and through microfinance, where they provide loans to some of the world's poorest people, giving them the help they need to help themselves.

Like ethical banks, also aids those who need it most through its support of Five Talents, a charity which also seeks to help those who need it most through microfinance initiatives.

Commenting, director at James Caldwell said: "Microfinance offers people the opportunity to change their own lives – not through charity, but through self-sufficient loans which are repaid and then used to help more people to fulfil their potential."

In addition to supporting Fairtrade, ethical banks also have a rigid policy when it comes to where they invest people's money. For example, The Co-operative lets its customers say where they want their money invested, to ensure it is not ploughed into things like the fur or arms trade, which is against the bank's ethical policy.

Some investment companies also offer ethical investment funds, such as the Jupiter Ecology fund, which focuses on companies providing solutions for environmental and social problems.

Commenting, Mr Caldwell said: "Using companies that support things like Fairtrade and Micro-finance could be a way for those who have had to cut back on donations, to continue to make a difference at little extra cost to themselves."

Find out more about ethical financial products »