COMMENT: Fairtrade awareness has improved, but there’s more to be done

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Do you actively look to buy Fairtrade products when out shopping? Are you aware of the issues facing those producing our food in other parts of the world and the efforts that are being made to get them a fairer deal?

More and more people are opting to buy Fairtrade and it's great to hear that knowledge of the range of products out there and the aims of the organisation is at an all-time high in the Solent region.

Campaigners have been out and about during Fairtrade Fortnight, rallying support for the cause, and are delighted that awareness has clearly spread.

By making sure the public are informed, they hope it will translate into decisions at the supermarket checkout.  

But they know there's still plenty of work to do to keep spreading the Fairtrade message and remind shoppers that their choices can make a huge difference to the lives of others.

The Fairtrade Foundation’s current campaign is all about getting fairer prices for people farming cocoa in West Africa, where 60 per cent of the world's cocoa is produced .

A large number of workers are women and without fair pay they struggle to support their families and their communities.

Another important aspect is how people can support the ongoing campaign to get more companies signed up to Fairtrade. 

From small beginnings, the Fairtrade Foundation now has the support of chains such as Co-op, Aldi and Waitrose who all sell Fairtrade products. Their involvement is key because of the scale of their operations.

Gosport Fairtrade Action’s coordinator Sarah Hirom says there are other big names that could do more. 

We agree. But i​​​f enough people tell them they want to buy Fairtrade products, then surely they’ll make certain they stock them. Because the customer is king.