Sit Down for Breakfast, Stand Up for Farmers - Fairtrade Fortnight 29th Feb to 13th March 2016

Written by: Sue James from Portsmouth Fairtrade Forum

As Martin Luther King famously said, ‘before you finish eating breakfast in the morning, you’ve depended on more than half the world’. Even though we rely on farmers and workers for the foods, drinks and products that we love, the people who grow the food we take for granted can’t always feed their own families. About 795 million people are undernourished globally.

Campaigners in Portsmouth, which is a Fairtrade City, want to help farmers and workers to put food on the table for their families by harnessing the power of a Fairtrade breakfast. Over Fairtrade Fortnight there will be a number taking place, for instance at St Thomas’s Cathedral on Sunday 29th Feb 8.30-10.15 and after 10.30 service and at the Espresso Bar in Commercial Road on Thursday 3rd March from 11.00 when there’ll be free bananas and a visit from Julio Mercado Cantillo, a banana producer from Colombia.

They are also organising a Fun Day at Portsmouth University on 3rd March, a stall at the Lord Mayor’s coffee morning also on 3rd, an event for International Women’s Day at John Pounds Church on 8th March and they are taking Julio to meet groups in local schools and to Wild Thyme Wholefoods in Southsea.

When people are paid a fairer price, they can have more control over their lives when times are hard, and worry less about how they will feed their families. Whether it’s the extra cash in their pockets or being able to expand their farms to grow more food to eat, Fairtrade means many farmers and workers are able to fulfil a basic human need – to put enough food on the table for the people they care about, all year round.

Most local supermarkets offer a range of Fairtrade goods, including lots you could use for an interesting breakfast menu. Look out for goods with the Fairtrade Mark which guarantees that the producers have been paid more than the world market price and work to agreed standards of health and safety, environmental protection, child labour etc. Most importantly, communities receive extra money and decide their own priorities. Schools, wells, clinics, better equipment and roads around the world are the result of this premium.

There’s an inspiring story behind every Fairtrade product and you can find out more on the national website: www.fairtrade.org.uk/

The local Fairtrade group has a programme of events for the Fortnight. Have a look at their website www.portsmouthfairtrade.org.uk or Facebook page Fairtrade South East Hants.

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