Fairtrade Fortnight is Coming

Fairtrade Fortnight is coming - 23 February - 8 March 2015!

Fairtrade Fortnight is a time to celebrate the benefits of Fairtrade and to spotlight the producers who grow the products we love like cocoa, sugar, and tea.

Portsmouth has been a Fairtrade City for over 10 years now and its members still want to remind everyone of the dramatic difference choosing Fairtrade makes. The fair prices paid plus the premium for the local community can mean a well, a school, farming equipment or a health centre for a village. Read some of the case studies on the Fairtrade Foundation website – you’ll be convinced!

Fairtrade has made fantastic progress over the last 20 years and the Fairtrade Mark is now the biggest and best known ethical label in the UK. There are now over 4,500 products carrying the Mark and estimated retail sales of Fairtrade products in 2013 was over £1.7 billion, a 13% increase on sales of £1.53 billion in 2012.

This is partly due to the work of Fairtrade groups around the country which have persuaded thousands of shops and cafes to switch.

Sue James from the Portsmouth Fairtrade Forum, says:  “We keep campaigning because we really believe that Fairtrade makes a difference to lives of some of the poorest people in the world. They get more than the world market price plus money for their community, but there’s also concern for the environment, including helping groups adapt to  the changing climate. But Fairtrade is part of a bigger picture – we’re challenging the injustice involved in unfair trade practices.   Half of the world’s hungry are small-holder farmers even though they grow 70% of the world’s food.  Cocoa farmers typically receive only 3-6% of the final price of a bar of chocolate.

What’s more, there is still a long way to go to make all trade fair – just 1.2% of cocoa and less than 10% of tea globally is traded on Fairtrade terms. So we have to persuade more people to look for products carrying the Mark”.

Groups across Hampshire will be putting on events during the Fortnight. In Portsmouth we have a big Fairtrade evening with Oxfam’s Head of Campaigns at Portsmouth University on March 3rd and we’ll be giving out bananas, helped by the Lord Mayor from 11.30 on Monday 23rd Feb in Guildhall Square.

There are plenty of other events around the area. Have a look at www.portsmouthfairtrade.org.uk to see what’s going on locally.

And if you want to celebrate in your own church or community, there are great resources to use on the Fairtrade website http://www.fairtrade.org.uk/fortnight including a new 15 minute film on tea growers and local groups are happy to help. 

What will you be doing to celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight? Let us know in the comments, and take a look at the highlighted faitrade events below that are mentioned in this post.

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