- Text by Shelley Jones
I’ve got a little confession to make. I’ve never bought, or not bought, anything dependent on that little Fairtrade stamp. I kind of knew it meant good – like organic or not-tested-on-animals – but in the heat of the shop, it’s never swayed me much. That is, until now.
Photographer and filmmaker Will Robson-Scott has produced a short film Fairtrade Matters that explores the lives of some farmers in Malawi whose lives have been transformed by Fairtrade standards, and it’s a reminder that rich consumers make important choices every time they spend.
Fairtrade Matters is not a gratuitous poverty film it’s an insightful and beautifully shot portrayal of the lives of Edson and Tsala, two tea farmers in Southern Malawi, November 2014, and it shows the negatives and positives of their rural way of life, stating, specifically how Fairtrade has made a difference.
Elements of the film are distressing – how little food there is and the obstacles to education that exist for kids – but the film also looks at how small developments of infrastructure – a well, a maternity ward, a motorbike – can be totally transformative.
All in all an inspiring and eye-opening film that gives a fresh perspective on an often overlooked society.