International campaign Fair-trade Fortnight returns to the North East for 2017 beginning February 27- March 12
The campaign shows support and enables a fair wage and living for farmers and workers who grow our food in developing countries such as Africa.
Towns in the North-East are known for supporting Fair-trade. Newcastle was awarded Fair-trade status in 2003 followed by Sunderland in 2007 by the Fair-trade Foundation.
Tradecraft in Gateshead is one of the Northeast’s non-profit Fairtrade organisations. They sell Fair-trade goods and run life-changing developmental projects and campaigns for trade justice.
Jon McNaughton, Media & Communications Officer at Tradecraft, said: “We are a movement of people committed to fighting poverty through trade and standing up for some of the world’s poorest people.
“The North East is an area that knows the value of hard work. All across the region people are striving to build better lives for those closest to them.
“One of the brilliant things about Fair trade is that it helps some of the world’s poorest people to get more from the work they do every day.
“It gives them a chance to change their lives through their own hard work. Although it’s important for every area to support Fair trade, perhaps people in the North East can identify with that concept of working hard and being paid fairly”
People of the North East are encouraged to purchase Fair-trade products when they can. Coffee shops in Sunderland town centre offer Fair-trade options such as Esquires Coffee.
Doreen Parnaby and her husband are Franchisee’s at Esquires Coffee in Sunderland shopping centre The Bridges.
She said: “We have been a supporter of Fair Trade since we opened in 2008 and feel it is an important part of being an ethical coffee shop. It helps farmers in developing countries to provide for their families and be rewarded for their hard work.
“All our coffee, and chocolate is Fair-trade and this is the major part of our trade, therefore we are fully supportive of Fair Trade. This filters back and enables small farmers to feed and cloth their families, plus things we take for granted, such as visiting the doctor or going to school, even paying for electricity.”
Events have also been held in Sunderland to celebrate and raise money for Fairtrade Fortnight including Fairtrade Fortnight Family Ceilidh at the Sunderland Minister on March 4 with help from Christian Aid and included a talk with a Columbian coffee grower.
To get involved with Fair-trade Fortnight and to learn more about the cause, visit http://www.fairtrade.org.uk/en/get-involved/events