Fairtrade Fortnight: Local People Urged To Support Fair Trade All Year Round

As Fairtrade Fortnight kicks off (February 24 – March 8), the Dumfries and Galloway Regional Fairtrade Steering Group has urged local people to get involved in events over the next two weeks, but importantly – to try and back Fair Trade all year round.

This year, the Steering Group, which comprises Fair Trade campaigners from Castle Douglas, Dumfries, Dunscore, Kirkcudbright and Wigtown along with Dumfries and Galloway Council and Loch Arthur Camphill Community, will raise awareness with a range of special events and activities across the region organised by local groups and businesses.

The 2020 campaign will focus on the stories of farmers and workers within the cocoa industry and the difference which Fair Trade makes in helping them earn an income that provides a decent standard of living.

Throughout the Fortnight and across the region, you’ll find producers story cards in cafes, shops, libraries and other places.  People are encouraged to read them and talk about them.

Two thirds of the labour in cocoa farming is carried out by women and the average cocoa farmer in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, where 60 percent of all cocoa is grown, makes less than 75p a day. This is well below the extreme poverty line of around £1.40 per day, leaving many families struggling to afford the basics: schooling for their children, medical treatment when they are ill and even access to safe water.

However, by buying products with the ‘FAIRTRADE’ mark, consumers ensure farmers and workers earn a viable income and an extra premium they can invest in vital community, business and environmental projects.

South of Scotland Labour MSP Colin Smyth is chairman of the Regional Fairtrade Steering Group, as well as convener of the Scottish Parliament’s cross-party group on Fair Trade.

Colin Smyth said: “I’ve seen and share in the commitment that the people of Dumfries and Galloway have towards tackling poverty, gender equality and climate change.
“This Fairtrade Fortnight is the ideal time to take action on these commitments by buying Fair Trade products and I’d encourage people to come along to one of the activities across the region to find out more – you’ll be made very welcome.
“However, it is also important that people in Dumfries and Galloway take the brilliant message from Fairtrade Fortnight into their everyday lives for the rest of the year. It doesn’t take a lot to buy Fairtrade and small changes can make a huge difference.”

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