Melbourne Fair Trade Shop calls it a day
When the Fair Trading Place in Melbourne started up fourteen years ago, it was quite hard to get ethically produced goods in the shops. They sought to change that, by providing an outlet for goods where consumers could have confidence in knowing those who made or grew them got a fair price for their work.
Today though, fair trade products are more widely available and this, combined with other circumstances, has prompted the decision to close the shop this month.
They started out in Melbourne Methodist Church hall. After two years, in 2004, they moved to dedicated premises in the Market Place (opened by newsreader George Alagiah). They have sold a range of ethically traded gifts, foods, accessories and toys.
Christine Lee is manager of the shop. In a message to customers and supporters, she said, “The fact that fair trade products are more widely available elsewhere has had an impact on us but is of course a welcome positive outcome of many years of fair trade promotion and campaigning...
“Please know how much your support has played a crucial part in enabling our business to continue successfully over recent years. We hope that like us you know that the choices you have made have enabled people in the developing world to have greater access to the basic needs of life that we all take for granted.”
Please note that whilst ths shop has acted as a distribution point for Derbyshire Church magazine, arrangements are in place to ensure their continued distribution in the local churches of Melbourne.
Shop staff Anne Brady, Christine Lee and Alison Thornhill outside the premises in Melbourne Market Place
(Source: Matt Lee)