• Bristol Fair Trade

Minuteman Press: South West Fair Trade Business Awards Spotlight

Peter is the business owner at Minuteman Press. Minuteman Press is a graphic design and print company that does everything in house. They combine graphic design with print production, and work with organisations at any stage, from formation to branding. Based in Bedminster, Minuteman has been there for 22 years with more than 22 years’ experience.

Fair Trade means making a difference. For me, it’s more than just a networking opportunity. It’s about being able to give back and contribute to a greater cause, actively doing small things each day in different ways to make a great difference. It’s great to be able to see the passion behind those involved with Fair Trade because they themselves know the difference it can make as it goes beyond just donating money.

We see this first-hand through events like Bristol’s annual Fairtrade producer visit across Fairtrade Fortnight. This gives everyone the opportunity to visit the producer, talk to them and ask questions to gain a picture of what happens on the ground and put a name to some of our most loved day-to-day products. This prevents it from feeling like a drop in the ocean and bridges that gap between consumer and producer that we often face.

Our goal is for Fair Trade to be felt throughout the organisation. This means that all members of staff must be involved and educated on all things Fair Trade so that when people ask them about Fair Trade, they can answer confidently. We encourage staff to read material on Fair Trade and each year we rotate different members of staff to Fair Trade conferences as this can be reinvigorating for them, refreshing new knowledge.

We are able to incorporate Fair Trade in numerous ways such as window stickers, graphics and displaying the awards won at the South West Fair Trade Business Awards. Having things like this on display often sparks conversation with our customers and we can create discussions. Investing this time with clients helps to educate them on Fair Trade and perhaps go away equipped with new knowledge. It’s even better when these clients ask how they themselves can get involved.

Our tip for any organisation wanting to support Fair Trade through their work would be to first build enthusiasm and awareness by attending talks and events such as the South West Fair Trade Business Awards. See the passion behind Fair Trade and the results it produces. Then you can talk to your workplace, look at your current processes and see how this can be changed to include the Fair Trade alternative. Reviewing the current processes can sometimes even lead to saving money. Talking to suppliers and making them aware that a Fair Trade business is the kind of organisation you would want to do business with can drive change from the bottom up.

The South West Fair Trade Business Awards has been a great way to network with like minded, similar businesses who all put Fair Trade at the heart of what they do. For example, we have crossed over with Better Food, local, organic and ethical store and Diana Porter Contemporary Jewelry, and have been able to make connections and have been able to make connections. This means we get to know more about other organisations, whilst also bringing the idea of Fair and Local together, connecting our ethos.

As the years have gone on, we at Minuteman Press Bristol have noticed the increase in what Fairtrade has to offer, what there is to buy, where we can buy these products and the increase in quality. It’s great to see so many other organisations and businesses incorporating Fair Trade because for us, this means it is becoming accepted as the norm. There is an increase in people understanding the importance of Fair Trade – why it is good and the difference it can make – and this is part of the battle.

Peter’s top Fairtrade product: “Fairtrade Coffee. When we drink so much of it, it’s nice to have so much variety and quality!”

The South West Fair Trade Business Awards will be back on Friday 7th May 2021. We're so looking forward to working with local organisations that support Fair Trade through their business, throughout the year and into the next! We're keeping applications from the cancelled 2020 awards open all year, meaning you can apply at any time, and amend your application nearer the time if needed.

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