Fairtrade Fortnight is an annual event that promotes the benefits of fair trade food and products through the Fairtrade Foundation. These smallholder farmers produce around 70 percent of the food in the world yet half of them are amongst the world's hungriest. The Fairtrade Foundation currently supports 1.24 million farmers in 66 developing countries.
Fair trade means the farmer or producer gets paid fairly for their product. It also means the farmers are paid a social premium. This extra money goes towards supporting community projects like schools, healthcare and clean water wells, in turn providing their family and neighbours with a more secure future.
Fair trade food is now widely available: not just in small specialist stores but also in supermarkets. It is likely you have fair trade products in your kitchen cupboard right now without realising it.
If a food has been certified fair trade it will feature the green, blue and black Fairtrade Mark. Chocolate, coffee, nuts and bananas are probably the most well known fair trade foods available but there are many more. Currently around 3,000 products in the U.K. show the Fairtrade Mark.
Bananas and chocolate are possibly the most common fair trade products in our baskets with one in three bananas sold in the U.K. now being fair trade. Cocoa products are not the simplest to harvest and, while there are 5.5 million cocoa farmers worldwide, they are paid on average only £1 a day so many large chocolate companies are now supporting the Fairtrade Foundation.
For all the chocoholics out there you will be glad to know that Cadburys, Green & Blacks, Dubble and Divine are all certified fair trade.
Ice cream lover? Look to Ben & Jerry's. They are working with six fair trade co-ops around the world to help them produce 42 ingredients for their ice creams.
If you need a caffeine hit search out Clipper teas and Cafédirect for coffee.
Want a glass of wine with dinner? The Co-operative has extended and relaunched its range of fair trade wines including a sparkling brut from South Africa.
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