EVERY year we use Fairtrade Fortnight from February 25 to March 10 as a nationwide effort to get people to know about Fairtrade and to buy products carrying the Fairtrade mark.
There are active Fairtrade groups in Portsmouth, Havant, Gosport and Fareham – all supported by local councils – and campaigners from all the areas will be out talking in schools and churches, organising stalls, and holding coffee mornings, meals and wine tastings so that people can try some of the new products on offer.
Why do we do this? Well, we believe that buying products with the Fairtrade marks makes a real difference to producers in some of the poorest countries.
Farmers and plantation workers are often cheated and underpaid for their produce and prices vary wildly from one year to another. So the mark was set up to guarantee that the producer gets a fair price, guaranteed over several years, plus money to be spent on the community projects they choose.
Lots of villages now have schools, clinics, better roads, equipment to help the farmers and much more.
The Fairtrade mark guarantees that other standards are met like not using child labour, protecting the environment and maintaining health and safety standards.
This year Fairtrade Fortnight is linked to a new campaign, Make Food Fair, and we are getting people to make sculptures from Fairtrade product packaging. We’re going to use these as part of a giant photo-petition calling for a better deal for small-holder farmers when world leaders meet in Britain in June. To find out what’s going on check out portsmouthfairtrade.org.uk.