If Fairtrade Fortnight (February 23 to March 8, 2009) spurs you to seek more fairly traded food, look no further than Essential Trading. The British co-operative business sells hundreds of Fairtrade foods from pulses to peanut butter, cereals to soups, chocolate spread to sprouting seed mix. the range is diverse. Essential sells a number of leading vegetarian, vegan, organic and fairtrade brands plus its own Essential brand of larder staples such as tahini, vegan pesto, quinoa, chocolate spreads, nuts, soups, fruit mixes and biodynamic herbal teas to name a few.

Buy in bulk

Buying fairtrade helps many people create for themselves a better standard of living. The cost of fairtrade food is a little higher than non-fairly traded goods and this can put people off making the ethical choice. However, Essential has a ‘friends and families’ plan that allows groups of friends and neighbours to club together to buy in bulk. All you need is a group of at least four individuals and one single delivery address and Essential will let you buy direct in bulk which, when divided, brings fairtrade food prices down, often to less than non-fairtrade, high street prices. “Many people support the fairtrade concept in principle but fail to follow through by buying fairtrade food,” says Eli Sarre, marketing director for Essential Trading. “While more and more retailers are stocking fairtrade options for certain foods, it’s by no means a comprehensive choice everywhere and prices can put people off,” she accepts. “With our friends and neighbours scheme, people can club together to place bulk orders and enjoy fairtrade food at very fair prices.”

Getting started

It’s easy to get started with Essential: simply call 0845 458 0201 to receive a catalogue of its range or view it online at www.essential-trading.coop. Then nominate one of your group to place and receive the orders and you’re ready to buy top quality, vegetarian, vegan, organic and fairtrade food. Visit online at www.essential-trading.co.uk