Fairtrade Fortnight – 25 February to 10 March

Here at MBC we marked the start of Fairtrade Fortnight by once again inviting Roger Robson and his Beehive team to hold a Fairtrade stall following our morning service. If you thought that buying Fairtrade and Traidcraft products was simply a way of restocking your chocolate drawer whilst at the same time doing a bit of good you’re selling the programme short; supporting Fairtrade and Traidcraft is participating in a long running, world wide campaign to bring about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. 

To underline the seriousness of the task in hand here’s an extract from the Fairtrade website: For two weeks each year, thousands of individuals, companies and groups across the UK come together to celebrate the people who grow our food, people who live in some of the poorest countries in the world and who are often exploited and badly paid. This year we are focusing on the people – in particular the women – who grow the cocoa in the chocolate we love so much. 

£1.86 is the amount a cocoa farmer in West Africa needs to earn each day in order to achieve a living income. Currently, a typical cocoa farmer in Cote d’Ivoire lives on around 74p a day. Almost all cocoa farmers in West Africa live in poverty.

For the women the situation is even worse. They may plant and harvest on the farm, look after children, carry water, collect wood, cook and clean for the family, and transport the cocoa beans to market but often with fewer rights than men. 

This is why we at Fairtrade are campaigning for a living income to become a reality for cocoa farmers in West Africa. If we can work together with governments, chocolate companies and retailers to make the commitments and policies necessary, then we can make it happen.

Roger will be running another Fairtrade stall here at MBC 0n Sunday March 31st which seems to me to be just about the right time and place to buy your Real Easter Eggs. In the meantime The Beehive will also be holding their annual coffee morning and Fairtrade Fair on Saturday 2 March at Chapel Allerton Methodist Centre between 10am and 12.30. 

For more information about the Fairtrade movement, and particularly Fairtrade Fortnight visit their website at http://www.fairtrade.org.uk/en/get-involved/current-campaigns/Fairtrade-Fortnight

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