Roadtest – Fair (dinkum) Trade

Fair Trade Fortnight is running from May 3rd to 18th this year, celebrating all things Fair Trade and the power of the buyer to change lives all over the world by choosing the right products at their local stores. Here we take a look at some of the best places to find Fair Trade in the Inner West…

Newtown

There are a number of great places to shop across Newtown and Enmore and Alfalfa House is one of the best; stocking Fair Trade tea, coffee and chocolate as well as a huge range of organic products. They also make a special effort to ethically source certain products, such as coconut oil, they know are likely to come from problematic places.

Summer Hill

Summer Hill is home to The Trading Circle, a not-for-profit Fair Trade organisation that imports ethically produced items from 40 producer groups across Asia, South America and Africa and sells them here in the Inner West. The organisation was established back in 1995 – well before Fair Trade started trending – and they have a great variety, particularly when it comes to toys and homewares for children. They also have some chocolate, fashion items and colourful gifts.

Marrickville

On Sydenham Road you’ll find artisan wholesale coffee roasters, Sacred Grounds. They have been providing ethical coffee to the Inner West since 2004 and even do a Fair Trade drinking chocolate, but aside from that they are 100 per cent Australian owned with no large corporate affiliations and use BioPak biodegradable takeaway cups for coffee.

Annandale

Me Too Please (stock pictured above) is a treasure trove of ethically sourced, innovative and unique gifts and homewares. While they are especially well known for their Haitian artworks made from recycled oil drums, they also added an Espresso Bar to the business in 2012, where locals can get a hot cup of ethically sourced Paul Bassett coffee or an organic Fair Trade certified SereniTEA.

Leichhardt

It’s quite common to find Fair Trade-certified products throughout Leichhardt with bigger stores like Coles and Woolworths introducing a decent range of coffee, tea and chocolate. However, it’s a good idea to support small business too. Spices Health Food on Norton Street stocks LovingEarth and Green & Black’s chocolate, as well as some products you may not expect like flavoured coconut butter, coconut cashew cream and Dr Bronner’s Fair Trade shaving gel, hand and body soap. Norton Plaza’s O’Sullivan Health Foods is great for its range of flavoured tea (Celestial Seasonings, English Tea Shop and Pukka), though it also sells Sacred Grounds coffee and Niulife coconut oil.

Rozelle

Tali Gallery is the only Fair Trade retailer (non-food) on the peninsula and is positively brimming with Fair Trade and social enterprise products as well as items that send royalties back to Aboriginal people and provide employment in the developing world. Often when we think of Fair Trade, we think of overseas workers but there are fair wage issues here in Australia too and Tali Gallery stocks things that work to close the gap of disadvantage among Aboriginal people here as well. You’ll find Outback Pride products (bottled and dried native foods, jams etc), Better World Arts cushion cover covers and Afribeads, plus countless unique and beautiful gifts from other producers – all at fair prices – at Tali. You can feel good about shopping at a place where pretty well everything makes a positive difference to someone’s life around the world. Check out their website for specific items: http://www.talionline.com.au/contents/en-uk/brands.html.

Meanwhile on the foodie side of things – Aboutlife, which is well known for their organic range, also pride themselves in sourcing Fair Trade products that support farmers and serve Sacred Grounds coffee and English Tea Shop tea in their cafe.