Fairtrade Fortnight

Fair Trade Worker attending her grapes in Ghana

It’s Fairtrade Fortnight starting 25th Feburary going on to 10th Match!  All around the country people are holding events in the support of Fairtrade.  During this year’s Fairtrade Fortnight the emphasis is on supporting smallholder farmers in developing countries. If you go to the Fair trade website (www.fairtrade.org.uk) you can make your paper person mini-marcher to march on Downing Street to hand a petition to David Cameron to urge him to support these smallholder farmers at the G8 meeting in May.  ‘Paper person mini-marcher’ ??!!…you say….  Well best to go to the website for an explanation! It’s great fun though!

Why is the emphasis on smallholder farmers? You may also ask. Well the following facts might help explain:

• 50% (HALF!) of the world’s hungry are farmers who are unable to make a living from the crops they grow even though they produce 70% of food.

• Smallholders and growers often receive less than 3%of the retail value of tea (and sometimes less than 1%)

• Rich countries waste as much food as the total annual food production of Sub-Saharan Africa Just a couple more facts about fair trade in general:

• The Fair trade system works with 1.24 million people – farmers, miners, labourers, craftsman and woman  & artisans – across more than 66 developing countries to ensure they get a fair deal for their products

• Fair Trade products are now sold in more than 120 countries So if you see a Fair trade event in your town this fortnight, please go along and support it!

Sam Birtwistle