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Fair trade fortnight aids poorer nations

Stuff.co.nz, New Zealand

An international campaign for justice in trade with Third World countries is being celebrated nationwide for the next two weeks.

Fair Trade Fortnight, which kicked off on Saturday, is a chance for people to make a difference to the lives of disadvantaged producers through Trade Aid stores.

This year’s theme is environmental justice.

Remuera Trade Aid manager Marilen Hernandez encourages people to think about issues surrounding their current lifestyles.

“It’s promoting environmental justice, protecting the environment from environmental degradation, reducing carbon footprints and buying goods by disadvantaged labourers.”

She says disadvantaged producers in Third World countries have the lightest carbon footprint, but their food, livelihoods and homes are affected the most by climate change and environmental destruction.

The Remuera store is one of 32 across the country taking part in the campaign.

Funky Princess, a sculpture of recycled wire mesh, metal plates and clothing by artist Amanda Tomosoa will be on display until May 18, as well as pieces of art by Dilworth College students.

Trade Aid products will be showcased including boxes made from camel bone, toy cars made by Kenyan women from telephone wires and incense made by deaf and mute people in India.

Fair Trade Fortnight is centred around World Fair Trade Day on Saturday, May 10, where international Fair Trade members in 70 countries host breakfasts, talks, music concerts, fashion shows and art displays.

The Remuera store will have free coffee, chocolate and cookies made from organic food, a count the coffee bean competition, lucky dips and recyclable items available on the day.

Every Fair Trade shop will display artwork by well-known regional artists which will be sent to Wellington on World Environment Day, June 5 and auctioned.

Half the proceeds will go to the artist, and half will go to schools that teach environmental awareness.

Trade Aid spokeswoman Michelia Ward says climate change is challenging people to think about their impact on the planet.

“This fortnight, Trade Aid challenges New Zealanders to go a step further and make a real difference. When you buy Trade Aid products, you can be confident that you are doing something positive for people and the planet.”

Schoolchildren can enter an online art competition, Junk to Green Funk, that runs until June 5.

There are four categories from preschool to open where students can enter an art piece made from recycled material.

Visit www.tradeaid.org.nz.

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