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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.

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…)

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. (more…)

Radiohead Supports FTRN

- Look to the Stars

“There are currently more than 2.5 million men, women and children who are forced, defrauded or coerced into various forms of labor or prostitution. Radiohead recommends checking out Amnesty International, Witness and The The Fair Trade Resource Network to learn more.”  See the full article on“Look to the Stars”

Check out Radiohead’s charity list here:

See Tom Yorke discuss the new video about child labor here:
 

Plan for fair trade stock exchange

- The Times, UK

Fair trade brands and ethical enterprises – such as Jamie Oliver’s restaurant Fifteen – could be listed on a new “social stock exchange” under plans being drawn up by the government.

Ministers are working on proposals for an ethical investment bank, supported by hundreds of millions of pounds lying in dormant bank accounts, and a stock exchange where social enterprises and environmental ventures raise cash. (more…)

Global consumer conscience to boost fair-trade sales

- FoodNavigator.com

Increased consumer sensitivity to ethical shopping will send the global fair-trade market rocketing to over £800m (€1,000m) by 2012, according to a new report.

The report, compiled by market analysts Datamonitor, indicates that ethical trading is a trend that the food industry cannot ignore, especially since many fair-trade operations relate to products such as tea, coffee and chocolate.

“Ethical consumerism will increasingly come to the fore as people shop for products they feel akin to politically, ethically and aesthetically,” said report author Nick Beevors. “Consumers will choose brands that are actively making a difference in a transparent and trustworthy manner.” (more…)

Fair trade hopes take root

- The Observer, UK

Can Malawi’s newly empowered farmers transform one of the world’s poorest countries?

The district hospital at Mchinji in Malawi was built nearly 20 years ago to serve a population of 275,000. It is a modern complex that, from the outside, would not look out of place in any British city. The trouble is that it’s drowning under a sea of patients.

Mchinji lies in the far west of Malawi where the Zambian and Mozambican borders meet. The sick swarm over the borders and swell the hospital’s catchment area to more than 600,000. With a population of 13 million, Malawi has the lowest number of doctors per person in the world; a 17-bed children’s ward will typically treat at any one time 185 kids suffering, and often dying, from malaria, pneumonia or anaemia.

The sick children are accompanied by a parent - or, just as likely, a guardian, because Aids has sunk its claws into the people who farm this fertile land. Consequently, life expectancy has reduced from 45 in 1990 to 37 in 2005. Virtually every adult you meet looks after at least one Aids orphan, more likely several.

But Mchinji District Hospital has no beds for those accompanying the sick, let alone cooking or washing facilities. So opposite the hospital, gathered on scrubby grass, are hundreds of women and children at the mercy of the elements. Some are pregnant, waiting to go into labour.

Yet here at Mchinji, contrary to perception, all is not lost. Three weeks ago, work started on a brick shelter to protect parents, guardians and expectant mothers from the sheeting rain and scorching sun. Progress has been rapid: the foundations have been laid and the structure is rising out of the ground. Work should finish soon. What’s remarkable is that the shelter has been paid for by nuts - fair-trade groundnuts, grown in Malawi and sold to British shoppers. (more…)

Woman proposes fair trade town

- The Sun Times, CAN

Liz Campbell believes Saugeen Shores could become the third “fair trade town” in Canada.

“By becoming a fair trade town, we are confirming our community’s commitment to supporting the principles of fair trade and improving the livelihood of millions of farmers and workers in the global south who benefit from the fair trade certification system,” the Port Elgin resident told a town council committee of the whole meeting earlier this month.

Campbell said among of the major goals of the program are to encourage access to fair trade-certified products in the community and to increasing public awareness of the issue of fair trade. (more…)

Borough in bid to ban plastic carrier bags

- Daily Dorset Echo, UK

CHINA has just outlawed them and they have been taxed in Ireland for the past 15 years - now Christchurch is being urged to say no’ to plastic bags with the launch next month of a community crusade to banish the bags.

Instead of the plastic carriers issued by supermarkets, shops and stall holders, customers in Christchurch will be encouraged to carry their shopping home in eco-friendly Fair Trade reusable cotton bags.

The specially commissioned bags - sourced from India - and emblazoned with the slogan say no to plastic bags, please’ will go on sale from February 2 when the campaign is launched at the Regent Centre. (more…)

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