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International Fair Trade News

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This section features news about some of the key happenings in Fair Trade around the world.

Could all nations be fair trade like Wales?

- Smart Planet

Wales becomes the first Fair Trade Nation

This month Wales announced that it had become the world’s first fair trade nation. So what’s next — a fair trade United Kingdom, a fair trade Europe, or even a fair trade world?

For Wales to become a fair trade nation, it set up criteria (and then met them) with the help of the Fairtrade Foundation and charities such as Oxfam and Christian Aid. This included doing things like having Fairtrade campaign groups in 55 per cent of towns, using and promoting Fairtrade products like coffee, tea and biscuits in the meetings and offices of the Welsh Assembly and promoting Fairtrade awareness in faith groups and schools around Wales. (more…)

Oikocredit: Socially Responsible Investments

- CSR-news.net

The experience of Oikocredit shows how financial and social returns of investments do not need to be exclusive: Once a pioneer in the field of development financing, Oikocredit is today recognized as one of the largest financiers of microfinance world wide and one of the few ethical investment funds, privately financed by around 600 institutions and 30,000 individual investors from all over the world. Oikocredit believes that providing poor people with credit can help them building themselves a better life. (more…)

European Sales of Organic and Fair Trade Fresh Produce Exceeded the EUR 5 Billion Mark in 2007 As Ethical Consumerism Increases to Grow

- Red Orbit, TX

Research and Markets (http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/35fefc/the_european_marke) has announced the addition of the “The European Market for Ethical Fruit & Vegetables: Organic and Fairtrade” report to their offering.

This report on The European Market for Ethical Fruit & Vegetables is the first-ever study that examines the organic and fair trade sectors of the fresh produce industry. This report gives a comprehensive analysis and forecasts for the leading fresh fruit & vegetable product categories in this emerging market. Expert analysis and strategic recommendations are provided to existing producers, new entrants and investors. (more…)

Black gold: How Fairtrade put the cream into Uganda’s coffee

- Guardian, UK

‘I witnessed many things,’ says Henry Wandwasi, slowly - and his eyes, I notice, have the sorrowful, dead look of a man still processing the unimaginable. ‘There were 50 or 60 bodies in the river, blocking the water pump that supplied Mbale town. The water was the colour of blood, smelling of blood. In fact, people avoided drinking it and used spring water instead. We removed the bodies and took them to Mbale mortuary. Amin’s people then used a tractor; they dug a mass grave and buried them like that.’ (more…)

Microfinance: Investments With a Social Return

- www.prnewswire.co.uk

The 32nd Annual General Meeting of Oikocredit - one of the leading financiers of microfinance worldwide - decided to pay a dividend of 2% to its members for the 15th year in a row. This may come as a surprise, considering the higher returns some new microfinance funds are promising. (more…)

Wales made fair trade ‘pioneer’

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Wales has been declared the world’s first fair trade nation by campaigners, for the progress it has made increasing the availability of such goods.

A number of targets were set in 2006 by the Wales Fair Trade Forum (WFTF) in consultation with independent experts to reach the fair trade nation goal.

These included having fair trade groups in 55% of towns and every county working towards fair trade status.

First Minister Rhodri Morgan said the declaration was a “great honour”. (more…)

Unnatural roots of the food crisis

- BBC News

As representatives of the world’s governments gather to address shortages in major foodstuffs and rising prices, Gonzalo Oviedo counsels them to focus on ecosystems. The modern business-dominated agricultural industry, he argues, promotes the degradation of nature - and that, in turn, means less and worse food. (more…)

UK leads Fairtrade shopping revolution as sales hit £560m

- www.freshplaza.com

British consumers willing to pay more for ethical products are at the forefront of a global surge in fair trade, new figures reveal. UK sales jumped 72 per cent last year, from £325m to £560m, more than double the rise in Germany and France, according to the Fairtrade Foundation. (more…)

The sweet taste of fair trade chocolate

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Buying “fair trade” chocolate can help circumvent the food price spike and as well as helping the developing world farmers who grow the cocoa bean and live in absolute poverty.

Many Canadians consider chocolate bars to be a guilty pleasure. Peel back the foil wrapper, take a bite and savour the potent sweetness of chocolate. Breathe in the 400 distinct smells that emanate from the cocoa bean, chocolate’s key ingredient. A rose, in contrast, has only 14. But don’t think about how the cocoa was grown, or that chocolate might taste bittersweet. (more…)

Alleviating poverty; World Fair Trade Day being celebrated in Port Colborne and Welland this weekend

- Welland Tribune

World Fair Trade Day is being celebrated at the Caf‚ on Main with music, fair trade products for sale and information about how supporting fair trade can help alleviate poverty for workers in developing countries.

The event, which will be held Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., is being hosted in partnership with Notre Dame College School’s fair trade club and Jennifer Camplin of Fenwick Village Coffee Roasters. Patti Fagan, owner of Caf‚ on Main, said she was discussing World Fair Trade Day with Notre Dame religion teacher Carol Berkhout when she discovered students were hoping to have the record for the greatest number of fair trade transactions on fair trade day. (more…)

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