There’s football and there’s Fairtrade football

I don’t think I’ve ever written anything about football before. But you can’t live in North East England and not have at least a passing interest in ‘The Beautiful Game’. The rivalry is legendary between the fans of Newcastle and Sunderland, our local North East teams. Though, tonight, all eyes are on Wales and we are willing them to come through against Portugal in the Euro 2016 semi-final.

There is one key piece of equipment for playing football, whether in an international stadium like the Stade des Lumiรจres, where tonight’s game takes place, or in your local park, school playground or on the beach. A football.

Today, I learned from the Fairtrade Foundation that you can now buy Fairtrade footballs – they’re emblazoned with the familiar Fairtrade logo that you see on Fairtrade coffee, tea, sugar or bananas. Bala Sport’s Fairtrade footballs are designed in Glasgow by Reflex Blue and hand-stitched in Fairtrade-certified factories in Sialkot in Pakistan. This is where 70% of the worldโ€™s hand-stitched footballs are made – 40 million of them every year.

Clipper Fairtrade Green Tea
My box of Clipper Fairtrade Green Tea. You can see the Fairtrade logo on the bottom right hand corner

Unfortunately, not all of these 40 million footballs are made under Fairtrade conditions. Many people who work in the football manufacturing supply chain are paid poorly and have very poor working environments. Bala Sport’s Fairtrade footballs are leading the way to change this. Fairtrade football makers receive fair wages and have safe working conditions. The Fairtrade Premium that is also paid, means projects such as extra health care or free transport can be provided, or even clean water for the workers and their community.

The Fairtrade Premium is a 10% extra sum of money that the factory or stitching centre can choose how to spend. But if more Fairtrade footballs were sold, this 10% extra would be an even greater sum and could do so much more for the football makers, their families and their communities.

Just imagine, if more schools, sports clubs or even families bought Fairtrade footballs. ‘The Beautiful Game’ could become even more beautiful ๐Ÿ™‚

This Sunday, 10th July, you can see Fairtrade footballs in action in another positively life-changing project in Glasgow – The 2016 Homeless World Cup.

So, the next time you need a football, why not make it a Fairtrade Football?

J Peggy Taylor

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4 thoughts on “There’s football and there’s Fairtrade football

  1. This is brilliant Peggy! I’m a big fair-trade fan, but never came across a FT football! And it’s a wonderfully perspective enhancing post in the light of the European cup and the crazy amounts of money involved in what remains a beautiful game, but one I find is tainted by its business/market driven aspects. Game on ๐Ÿ™‚ Love, Harula xx

    1. Isn’t it a great idea, Harula! I was so taken with the idea, and especially with the Euro 2016 tournament going on just now, it seemed good timing to pass on this new Fairtrade option. I absolutely agree, all of the money in football is grotesque … a lot of it could be doing so much more good in our world!! Though I did like the idea of the Homeless World Cup that has come out of street football projects in various places – a positive face for football! Best Wishes, Peggy ๐Ÿ™‚

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