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Fortnight focuses on fair trade

Published on 24 February 2017

LEICESTER will be joining towns and cities across the country next week to highlight the need for a fair deal for the world’s poorest farmers.

Fairtrade Fortnight – an opportunity for schools, businesses and individuals to show their support for food producers in developing countries – will be marked in Leicester with a Fairtrade-themed roadshow at a local school and an opportunity to meet a Fairtrade coffee producer from Kenya.

Esther Koskei – who is chairlady of the Kabng’etuny Women in Coffee Association – will be in Leicester on Monday 6 March to give a talk about the benefits of Fairtrade and how it’s helping Kenyan coffee farmers to address issues such as equality and climate change.

The free event at City Hall – which has been arranged by the Fairtrade Leicester steering group in partnership with the Fairtrade Foundation – starts at 5.30pm.

Places at the event can be reserved online at estherkoskei.eventbrite.co.uk

Schools are getting involved in Fairtrade Fortnight too, with themed assemblies taking place throughout the fortnight and a Fairtrade-themed Eco-Schools roadshow at Sir Jonathan North Community College on Friday 10 March.

And city council staff will be invited to buy bags of fairly-traded rice as part of the 90kg Rice Challenge – a way of demonstrating how much rice a farmer from Malawi must grow and sell in order to send a child to secondary school for a year.

Assistant city mayor for sustainability Cllr Adam Clarke said: “Leicester has been a Fairtrade city since 2002 and I’m proud to be supporting Fairtrade Fortnight once again.

“Today there are thousands of products that bear the Fairtrade mark – from tea, coffee and chocolate to rice, flowers and cotton wool. 

“If it’s labelled ‘Fairtrade’, you know that its producers have been paid a fair price – and by buying it, you’re helping to break the cycle of poverty that many farmers in developing countries are trapped in.”

Adam Gardner, communities campaign manager for the Fairtrade Foundation said: “Farmers get a better deal when they sell their crops on Fairtrade terms.

“Through Fairtrade, farmers can invest in better farming and earn more money for their crops, and make sure their children are fed and can go to school. Communities can invest in clean water and clinics, improving everyone’s health.

“For change to be transformative for the poorest farmers, their families and communities, Fairtrade needs us all – campaigners, shoppers and businesses.

“The support of places such as Leicester is vital in building awareness and helping the world’s poorest farmers get a fair deal.”

Fairtrade Fortnight runs from 27 February until 12 March.

For more information, visit www.fairtrade.org.uk