YOU may have heard about Fairtrade goods – the ones with the Fairtrade mark that guarantee a decent price was paid to the original farmer.
Over the years it has been a fantastic way to protect suppliers in developing countries from fluctuating prices that could drive them out of business.
It has allowed them to build a future and trade their way out of poverty.
Here in Fareham, the idea has been supported for the past 10 years.
Our council and local traders have backed Fairtrade products, meaning that we’ve just celebrated 10 years as a Fairtrade borough.
One thing that we are exceptionally proud of is the fact that our churches have been at the heart of the campaigning and lobbying. This is because we believe that it’s right to help our brothers and sisters in developing countries to make a living.
Each year, we also take part in Fairtrade Fortnight, which promotes the benefits of Fairtrade products to those who might never have tasted or seen the delicious chocolate, bananas, coffee and 4,500 other Fairtrade products.
We set up a stall in Fareham Shopping Centre to celebrate the start of Fairtrade Fortnight, which this year started on February 27 and will continue until March 12.
The centrepiece of the stall was a tea set, surrounded by Fairtrade goodies, to illustrate the theme of this year’s Fortnight – where we are encouraged to ‘Put Fairtrade in your break’.
Group members were on hand to give out Fairtrade bananas, chocolate and other treats, and to explain to shoppers how choosing Fairtrade products gives us a tasty break while also breaking the cycle of poverty for rural communities in the developing world.
Fareham’s Mayor Ccouncillorr Connie Hockley, with her consort Councillorr Geoff Hockley, came along to show their support for Fairtrade, as did council executive leader Councillor Seán Woodward, and Councillors Pam Bryant and Louise Clubley.
It was great to chat to people and send them away with a new understanding of the benefits of Fairtrade.
It is a really simple way to make a real difference to poor communities in the developing world.
By choosing products that bear the Fairtrade mark, you can be sure that your purchase will give those who produced it a fair price and a better life.
For more details, see the national site at fairtrade.org.uk or our local site fffb.org.uk.