Josna holding bottle-gourd - grow message

Press Release - Smartphones, coffee, and hot showers considered life’s necessities in UK

January 09, 2015

Six out of ten people in the UK say they could not go a day without access to the internet, while the majority could not survive without their smartphones, according to a survey by the country’s leading fair trade organisation Traidcraft.

The nationwide survey found that:

  • 6 in 10 people said they could not get through the day without the internet
  • More than a third need a morning coffee to get them through the day
  • More than two thirds of 16-24 year olds listed their smartphone as their top necessity. Half of all Londoners quizzed listed their smartphone as their top necessity
  • More than a quarter of men couldn’t live without their car
  • Half of all Scots surveyed chose a hot shower as their daily essential

It marks the launch of Traidcraft’s Fair Necessities Appeal, the charity’s biggest ever fund raising appeal helping smallholder farmers in some of the world’s poorest countries escape poverty and build better lives, enabling them to afford the essentials they consider important in everyday life.

Smallholder farmers produce 70 percent of the world’s food, yet represent 50 percent of the planet’s poorest people.

For many of these farmers, they struggle to afford enough food to eat, basic levels of healthcare for their families, or education for their children.

In countries including Bangladesh, regions of India, and in East Africa, Traidcraft works hand in hand with smallholder farmers to teach them more effective cultivation techniques, as well as better business practices, to help them grow more crops, earn more and therefore eat more.

The Fair Necessities appeal will run for three months through to April 3rd with the UK government matching every pound raised through the UK Aid Match scheme so that public support of the appeal will go twice as far.

International Development Secretary, Justine Greening, who is supporting the appeal, said: "Around 28 million people in Bangladesh live in extreme poverty, unable to access the basic necessities that so many of us take for granted.

"Traidcraft's Fair Necessities Appeal will help smallholder farmers around the world support themselves to escape poverty. By matching public donations to the appeal pound-for-pound, we can give isolated farming households in Bangladesh the skills, equipment and services they need to boost their incomes, improving the quality of life of thousands of people for good."

Larry Bush, Marketing Director at Traidcraft said: “During a very recent trip to Bangladesh, we asked farmers what their top necessities in life were and they listed things like electricity, irrigation systems for the fields, and food on the table. This contrasts greatly with the necessities we in this country consider to be important.

“Traidcraft works in some of the world’s poorest countries and we really are changing lives. We’re giving people who may live in small shelters and farm tiny pieces of land a future, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to grow their way out of poverty. By supporting Traidcraft’s Fair Necessities appeal, you can help change lives around the world.”

You can donate to the appeal by clicking onto www.traidcraft.co.uk/donate-now or text ‘DOUBLE’ to 70500 from your mobile phone to donate £5. A short film about our appeal is available to view.