Fair Trade Finders

Teachers and parents setting home learning activities may be interested in a fun game this Fairtrade Fortnight: being a Fair Trade detective! The Scottish Fair Trade Forum are asking for help in tracking down Fair Trade products all around Scotland, which you can alert them to here. These entries will then be added to their map, so that we can all see just how much the message of Fair Trade is spreading across the country.

So next time you visit the supermarket, local shop, or really any business with your children, ask them to have a look around for Fair Trade products, and maybe even let the shop know, either in person or online, if you aren’t happy with their selection!


Fairtrade Fun with Food

Fairtrade Fortnight 2021 has kicked off today, and it is of course very different from usual, with almost all of the celebrations happening online. But since one of the most exciting elements of being a Fair Trade supporter is getting to sample all of the tasty treats, how can that be replicated at home?

Well, several organisations have put together guides on cooking with Fair Trade food! Traidcraft have produced these simple to follow videos:

Fairtrade Yorkshire have also arranged several live cook-along events as part of their Fairtrade Connections festival. You can find details, including what ingredients you’ll need, here.

Our friends at JTS have also posted many cooking videos and ideas for their ingredients over on their Facebook. Happy cooking (and eating)!


Virtual Fairtrade Fortnight

It’s nearly Fairtrade Fortnight 2021, and it will of course be a different experience from previous years with in-person gathering still not possible. Thankfully, fair trade organisations have organised some incredible online events!

The Fairtrade Foundation are running a festival of Climate, Fairtrade and You for the entire fortnight, which includes events and activities for all ages. There are so many to choose from that we couldn’t pick our favourite to recommend!

The Scottish Fair Trade Forum have also arranged two really interesting online events. You can sign up for their roundtable discussion on Fair Trade and the climate emergency, taking place on 24/02/21 12:00-13:00, here. Their innovative and informative coffee morning event, with input from Rwandan coffee producers, is also happening on the 27th at 10:00, and you can get tickets (possibly with free coffee included if you’re quick!) here.

Finally, we’re relaunching our podcast during Fairtrade Fortnight! Our first episode, an interview with Rainbow Turtle founder Liz Cotton, will be available on all of your favourite podcast providers on 22/02/21. Let us know what you think!


Urgent Action Needed for Banana Farmers

Banana farmers in Ghana are being left with an inflated tarrif to pay when their goods enter the UK, thanks to new arrangements agreed post-Brexit. This unexpected extra cost will negatively impact their already precarious livelihoods.

This comes despite a joint statement from the UK and Ghanaian governments saying that they had:
“reached a consensus on the main elements of a new trade agreement” that “provides the basis to replicate, the effects of the existing trade relationship between the UK and Ghana.”

We’re asking you to contact the UK Secretary of State for Internation Trade Liz Truss, using this letter, to request that urgent action be taken to return to previous trade agreements and compensate importers for any loses already incurred so that they will not be passed on to farmers.

You can read more about this here.


‘Choose the World You Want’ Youth Exhibition

The Fairtrade Foundation have recently shared the Fairtrade Fortnight theme for 2021: ‘Climate, Fairtrade and You’! Fairtrade Fortnight takes place 22 February – 7 March 2021 and so will be taking a different format from previous years, with limited opportunities for in-person learning and campaigning. We’ll be keeping you up to date on everything the Fairtrade Foundation, and others, have planned for this year’s exciting and relevant theme!

First up, for those aged 5 to 25, there’s the opportunity to ‘share your vision of the world you want’ as part of a youth exhibition of art, film, and creative writing on Fairtrade and the environment. You can find out more about this, including how to enter your work, here.

Teachers, parents, and guardians may be interested in this activity as a way to bring the ideas of Fair Trade into learning from home!


Happy 2021!

It’s a new year but, with most of Scotland in a strict lockdown, we’re not sure it’s quite a happy one yet. But there are still rainbows to come after the rain! As we suspected might end up being the case, we can’t yet give a date for Rainbow Turtle reopening, but as soon as we know, you’ll know. Keep an eye on our social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) or sign up for our monthtly newsletter to stay in the loop!


Merry Christmas!

2020 has been a difficult year, and we have only got through it thanks to the huge amount of support and encouragement from you: our supporters, customers, friends, and volunteers. Thank you!

The new year will kick off with a little uncertainty, with Rainbow Turtle now closed and most of Scotland in a level 4 lockdown, but we’re confident that we can get 2021 off to a great start, even if that does have to be a little bit later than normal!

We hope that you all have a wonderful, if unusual, Christmas and that your new year is a good one. Merry Christmas from all at Rainbow Turtle!


Hope, Diversity and Inclusivity

Alex, the star of our new Christmas window

We welcome Alex, our rainbow lion, to our Christmas window. He exemplifies this year’s theme of hope, diversity and inclusivity. Alex was kindly decorated by the pupils of Mary Russell School in Paisley with support from their art teacher, Miss Ferguson.

Alex’s coat of rainbow colours symbolises hope, which is the message of Christmas and much needed at this time. The rainbow has also been adopted by the LGBT community and supporters of the NHS.

We wanted to represent diversity by including a turtle (unfortunately we couldn’t find a rainbow one!) with Alex, our lion. Around the world there are many people who will struggle to make it a happy Christmas this year. We wanted to acknowledge that it is the diversity of beliefs, races of people and sexualities that makes up our world. It is only by working together and supporting the poorest members of our humanity can we make it a better place.

Finally, we wanted to represent inclusivity as the lion and the turtle getting on together. In the bible an image of heaven is the lion lying down with the lamb (or in our case the turtle!) For us at Rainbow Turtle selling fair trade produce, and helping producers in developing countries, helps us to come closer to that image of paradise.

If that is too deep for you, just come to Paisley and admire the creativity of the MRS pupils and admire our Christmas window. And, of course, buy our wonderful produce and crafts.


He’s here!

Alex, our rainbow lion

Our newly decorated lion, has arrived in the shop ready for our grand opening on Saturday 12th December. Thanks to Miss Ferguson, the art teacher, and the students of Mary Russell School, Alex (as the pupils have named him) has had a complete makeover. Resplendent in his rainbow coat of many colours, Alex will adorn our Christmas window to highlight this year’s theme of inclusivity and diversity.

Mary Russell art teacher, Miss Ferguson, saying goodbye to Alex

The pupils have included a number of themes into their design of Alex. Firstly, the rainbow patterns covering him. We now have a rainbow lion to go with our rainbow theme of the shop. To us rainbows are symbols of hope and are about diversity and including people from all nations, differing ages, beliefs, and sexualities.

Picture courtesy of Mary Russell School

On one side of Alex is a rainbow coloured tree, apparently this is because trees are made up of different components. On the top are painted the symbols of the fair trade movement, which is about supporting producers in developing countries by buying their produce at fair prices and allowing them to work in decent conditions.

Picture courtesy of Mary Russell School

On the other side of Alex is our logo, the rainbow turtle. Turtles are almost self sufficient because they carry their house with them. However, when they’re upside down they are completely vulnerable to attack, which is a bit like our fair trade producers. The fact that the pupils have included all these elements in the design gives me so much hope in our young people for the future. With attitudes like these our world will be in a good place.

Picture courtesy of Mary Russell School

Reopening Saturday 12th

Following the Scottish Government’s announcement yesterday that Renfrewshire can exit level 4 restrictions, we will be reopening Rainbow Turtle at 10am on Saturday 12th December!

To allow our lovely customers as much Christmas shopping time as possible, we have extended our opening hours from the 12th until we close on Christmas Eve.

We look forward to seeing you back in the shop!