What a strange unprecedented time we are in. As we remain isolated from many of our friends and family, we know that many of our members and friends are also struggling to keep their businesses alive. It is heartening to hear amongst the challenges we are all facing, the stories of support and courage from our wonderful Fair Trade community. At the Fair Trade Association of ANZ, we are looking for ways to best support our community. Here are a few things which we hope will help.
Support Group for Members on Facebook
We’ve set up a closed group for members so that businesses can discuss an share ideas to help each other. This includes things like support and advice from other members on how to improve online sales, where to find government help. It’s called FTAANZ Members Group – if you are a member and would like to join just follow the link, answer a couple of questions and request entry.
Linking to global WFTO Campaigns
You may have seen us using the hashtag: #stayhomelivefair
This is the global campaign being run by the WFTO to support Fair Trade through the COVID-19 crisis. Use the hashtag on your own campaigns to help get visibility with people following the global campaign. The association will be using this hashtag with all of our campaigns during the crisis to link us to the global campaign.
Share your Stories
We are always keen to get producer stories and content from our members. If you are interested in providing a guest blog post or sharing stories about your producers, please send them through and we will publish and share them if we can. Links to YouTube videos are great if you have them.
We would also love to hear your stories about how you are coping with the current business situation.
Stay Connected with our Community
So many of us are used to catching up at markets and other in-person events. Those of us in network groups would catch up for dinner when we could. I don’t know about you, but I really miss seeing my Fair Trade friends.
We are looking for more ways to keep us all connected. The NSW Network Group recently held an online video meeting. If you already have regular video catch-ups with other Fair Trade members – we’d love to hear from you. If you are happy to have other members along, we’d be happy to share your group so others can join. We are also looking into how we can connect our community nationally with some online meetups and events over the next few months. Let us know if you have some ideas.
None of us knows how long these strange circumstances will last. What has been heartening over the past few weeks is to see how the Fair Trade community have pulled together to help each other. It is not an easy time for any of us, it would be easy at this time for people to become selfish and think more of themselves than others. But that is not what our wonderful community is doing. It has been a light in the dark for me at this difficult time. I hope it serves as a light of hope for us all.