Generation Fairtrade: Taking Action

Following on from our first and second blogs on young people’s expectations of business and their views on the future for Fairtrade, we take a look at teenagers who are willing to take action to spread the word and get involved in good causes.
The infographic below highlights some of the findings from our recent study with UK teenagers (aged 13-20 years old) focused on the role of companies in society.
Known as “Generation Fairtrade” – because they have grown up with the Fairtrade mark – around 90% of the study’s respondents said they are willing to take action on issues they care about, with purchasing ethical products being the most popular course of action (72% of UK teens).
Far from being the self-absorbed stereotype of teenagers that is often portrayed in the media, results from the study show that UK teens care about a wide range of global issues. More than half of survey respondents say that they are fairly or extremely worried about issues that Fairtrade works to address such as inequality, poverty, workers’ rights, human rights, child labor and climate change.
More than three quarters of teens (78%) say they would do something online to support a good cause, such as signing a petition, liking a page on Facebook, or sharing links with friends. Getting involved in social media is seen as a really powerful way of spreading a message.
Many will also actively participate to bring about change, with 40% saying they would take part in an event, 40% saying they would join a group or society, and 44% saying that they would volunteer for a good cause.
Having grown up with Fairtrade products at home, UK teenagers are keenly aware that by taking a simple action such as buying Fairtrade or signing an online petition, they can persuade businesses and governments to act more ethically and they have the power to effect real change.
At the recent Net Impact conference – a leading forum for students and professionals who want to tackle the world’s toughest social and environmental problems – students learnt how to use their careers to drive transformational change in the workplace and the world by looking to incorporate their passion and drive for sustainability into jobs across organizations, regardless of where they fall – legal, communication, finance or wherever else.
This way, the next generation of potential future leaders can work toward more transformative change in areas that may not otherwise play a stated role in sustainability strategy, and ultimately bring about a more integrated approach to sustainability across the business.
UK teenagers are switched on to global issues, and we see high expectations from them about the role of companies to address these issues. The number of thoughtful answers to unprompted questions in this study far exceeds what GlobeScan typically sees in online surveys targeted towards adult consumers.
These young people are highly engaged and they want to have a say on the role of companies and organisations like Fairtrade as they step into adulthood.
Take action by getting involved in Fairtrade Fortnight which runs from 23 February – 8 March 2015.  During the campaign, Fairtrade schools right across the UK will be holding events and Fairtrade producers from Dominican Republic, Belize and Malawi will be visiting schools to talk about the impact that Fairtrade makes.

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