Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Fairtrade Matters Film Shows Fairtrade Can Change Lives

Fairtrade Matters’, a new evocative and thought-provoking short film by the Fairtrade Foundation, created by GOOD Agency and produced by HLA and their director Will Robson-Scott, offers a glimpse into the lives of just two of the farmers and workers at the heart of Fairtrade.
In a touching portrait of the everyday reality of life behind our daily cuppa, the film explores the vulnerability of families and communities and some of the many challenges tea farmers and workers face. Captivating, moving and sometimes stark, the film touches on the universal themes that affect us all – from providing for our children to planning for an uncertain future.
With cinematic landscapes of rural southern Malawi never far away, the film features poignant portraits of tea producers Edson Maotchedwe, a 45-year old tea farmer and dedicated father of seven and Tsala Mwale, a 28-year-old single mother of one, and a pioneer in her village where she was the first to bring solar power to her home who works in a tea processing factory.
Typically, workers like Edson and Tsala on conventional farms and estates face low prices for their tea, notoriously low worker wages, long working hours and a difficult relationship with estate management who they depend on for basic needs such as housing, healthcare, access to water and education for their children. Fairtrade seeks to tackle these problems to uphold workers’ rights including their rights to work safely.

Just weeks after the film was shot, devastating floods tragically hit the country, leaving hundreds dead, 200,000 people displaced and crops and livelihoods devastated. Malawi has a population of 13 million and is one of the poorest countries in the world.
Fairtrade producer groups have also been affected by the tragedy, with a loss of seven lives, countless farms and crops washed away, highlighting the fragility of life for tea and other producers in Malawi.
 ‘It was a great opportunity to travel to Malawi and meet the people who make our tea, and to witness and furthermore document the incredible work Fairtrade Foundation does.  What was also abundantly clear throughout the process was the need for continued help.  
Our goal was always to create a film that isn’t the norm for the charity sector, I wanted something more emotional, original and powerful, we are extremely happy and proud of the results.  We hope audiences will feel an emotional connection with the subjects of the film whilst watching it, in the same way that we did whilst making it, and that this will encourage a continued and increased propensity to purchase Fairtrade products,’ said director Will Robson-Scott.

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