Fairtrade offer helps to make a difference

Next week sees the start of Fairtrade Fortnight, showcasing the work of an independent body whose label indicates that products we buy have given disadvantaged producers a better deal.

This means that ingredients come from small-scale farmer organisations or plantations that meet social, economic and environmental standards, protect workers’ rights and the environment, and don’t use illegal child labour.

Many people buy such products to make a difference. The UK market is about £1.5bn a year.

Consumers know that tackling poverty isn’t just about governments giving aid and assistance, but about increasing trade opportunities and ensuring producers are paid a fair price.

The Fairtrade Fortnight reminds us that making a few small changes to shopping habits can make a real difference to producers in the developing world. I hope that people in North Tyneside will choose fair trade products. Co-op shops have events highlighting the initiative.

This quest for social justice via Fairtrade can also help reduce chronic poverty and reduce conflict and extremism.

Visit www.fairtrade.org.uk/fortnight to see how Fairtrade is changing lives.