Lithium battery fires

Lithium batteries have caused fires in the rubbish lorries. Please do not put batteries in your waste or recycling bin. All batteries (including lithium batteries from e-bikes and e-scooters and other re-chargeable devices) can be taken to the Reuse and Recycling Centre at Northumberland Wharf.


What is Fairtrade?

Fairtrade is about a fair relationship between U.K. consumers and farmers and workers in the developing world. Fairtrade is:

  • better prices,
  • decent working conditions,
  • local sustainability and
  • fair terms of trade.

Small-scale farmers are responsible for producing most of the world's food. They have long been vulnerable to factors beyond their control like crop failure, changing tastes and standards, and inadequate reserves. Competitive global markets, intent on driving prices down, force them to share the price the consumer pays with other much more powerful links in the supply chain.

Fairtrade allows small producers to resist the forces that drive them into poverty, by requiring companies to pay growers a sustainable price for their crop that:

  • covers the cost of production,
  • is stable over a period of years and
  • never falls below the market price,

The social premium that is paid in addition to the basic price, allows farmers and workers' groups to invest in the resources and skills needed to improve their position and have more control over their lives.

Fairtrade campaigns for a living income for small farmers. Enough not just to cover basic farming costs but also to guarantee essential human rights like:

  • a nutritious diet,
  • clean water,
  • health care and
  • an education for their children.

And now it is supporting climate-vulnerable producers fight for a fair share-out of the burden of changes involved in facing up to the challenge of an increasingly uncertain world.

Why choose Fairtrade products?

Fairtrade contracts guarantee farmers a stable minimum price that covers the cost of production and includes a social premium that groups of farmers and workers are able to spend on community-wide needs like healthcare, training and diversification.

When we shop and choose a Fairtrade-certified product.  We are showing our commitment to building a more ethical, less exploitative relationship with the people responsible for providing us with the bananas, tea, coffee, chocolate and so many items we regard as the daily necessities. We know:

  • where those products came from,
  • how they were produced and
  • the standards they meet.

Fairtrade and Climate Justice

Climate change is a global-scale challenge, and it's the underlying theme of this year's Fairtrade Fortnight.

Small-scale farmers and workers in climate-vulnerable countries around the world are struggling with the consequences of man-made global heating:

  • unpredictable weather patterns,
  • droughts,
  • flooding,
  • heatwaves,
  • emerging crop diseases and
  • shrinking harvests.

Fairtrade is supporting farming communities as they find ways of coming to terms with climate global warming in the same way it has helped them face up to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Fairtrade prices and the Fairtrade premium underpin efforts to develop:

  • the infrastructure of land management,
  • soil conservation,
  • disease control,
  • diversification, etc.

Major industrialised nations must take their fair share of responsibility for the global economic changes needed to limit and respond to changes that are now inevitable. Marginalised and exploited climate-vulnerable communities must not be left to bear an unfair share of the burden of change.

The small producers who supply 80% of the world's food have a historical carbon footprint that is very small compared to countries like the UK. Their lifestyles have contributed little to the build-up of global warming that threatens the future of the planet. The Fairtrade connection offers farmers and workers an opportunity to come together with consumer allies and make their voice heard.

Fairtrade farmers' representatives came away disappointed at the outcome of  the Glasgow Climate Summit for the failure of the world's major economies to agree cuts in emissions that would limit global heating to 1.5º C. Fairtrade campaigners are working together to press for urgent cuts needed to protect us all. As well as action on promises to give farming communities in low-income nations urgent access to climate finance in order to prepare themselves as best they can to face the challenges of the climate emergency.

See how Fairtrade is tackling the Climate Crisis

Things you can do

  1. Try out products with the Fairtrade mark when you go shopping - and when you don't find them, ask for them.
  2. Enjoy a visit to the Fairtrade Fortnight Festival and take a look at the events linked to there. Sample a recipe or two as well.
  3. Meet the Fairtrade farmers
  4. If you work in or are a student at a local school, visit the Fairtrade Schools website. Check out the useful learning resources available from the Fairtrade Foundation. Or send a "message" to the Fairtrade Youth Exhibition. Discover what recognition as a Fairtrade School involves.
  5. If you attend or work at a local university or college, take a look at the case studies of Fairtrade Universities and Colleges. Ask the Student Union shop or sustainability officer whether they're actively involved in Fairtrade Fortnight.
  6. If you have a professional or commercial interest in Fairtrade, take a look at Fairtrade for Business. Or contact the Fairtrade Foundation directly. The Foundation is based in Tower Hamlets, at 5.7 The Loom, 14 Gower’s Walk, London E1 8PY. Tel: 020 7405 5942 or email:
  7. If you're a Fairtrade enthusiast: Get involved with the local Fairtrade Group.

Tower Hamlets Fairtrade Group

The Tower Hamlets Fairtrade Group is a group of Fairtrade supporters campaigning to raise awareness of ethical consumerism, fair trade and the Fairtrade certification scheme.

We work with Tower Hamlets Council to support its Fairtrade Borough status and its commitment to promote Fairtrade as a part of its sustainability and ethical procurement policy. We lobby the local MPs to press for action on international trade and aid.

In more normal times we take the Fairtrade message to local residents through information stalls and events. Even in the difficult circumstances of the pandemic, we continue campaigning to encourage local institutions and retailers in the borough and nationwide to stock and use products carrying the Fairtrade Mark and continue their support for existing Fairtrade suppliers.


If you are interested we'd love to hear from you by email: