Kevin calls for Southend to become a Fairtrade Town

Kevin Bonavia has joined calls for Southend to become a Fairtrade Town following recent moves by Basildon and Colchester.

Kevin Bonavia has joined calls for Southend to become a Fairtrade Town following recent moves by Basildon and Colchester.

"A large proportion of the typical shopping basket, including tea, coffee, fruit and vegetables come from much poorer countries around the world.  The farmers who produce these good are often paid a pittance compared the profits made by middle men and distributers to this country."

More people are starting to ask questions about where their food is coming from, but these answers aren't attainable. For this reason, Fairtrade Foundation was set up to ensure companies and retailers, such as supermakerts, are paying a fair price for products before being allowed to display the Fairtrade symbol. Since 1997, the Labour Government has committed £12 million on Fairtrade promotion and pledged £380 million every year from 2010 on Aide for Trade, an organization which promotes developing countries' ability to trade by investing in relevant infrastructure, among other things. 

 

Southend cannot rely solely on the national government.  Southend Council should take part by following the example of Colchester in Essex.  Colchester has been recognised by the International Fairtrade Foundation as a Fairtrade Town, which means that it is encouraging and helping retailers to stock more Fairtrade goods as well as encouraging residents to primarily purchase Fairtrade goods.

"I am calling on Southend Council to pass a resolution committing it to applying for Fair Trade status as the first setp to becoming a Fairtrade Town. Basildon has recently done this, and I would encourage people to write to their councillors and ask them to support such a resolution."  Becoming a Fairtrade Town is beneficial for everyone.  Aside from lifting famers in developing countries out of poverty, prices of Fairtrade products will decrease as Fiartrade products become more common place.  Fairtrade sales in the UK have been doubling every 2 years for the last eight years.  The total value of Fairtrade labelled products sold in the UK in 2006 was £284 million, up from £196 million in 2005; a growth of over 1,000 percent sicne 1998.  This growth is not restricted to the UK: the market for Fairtrade labelled products has been growing by 30-40% a year.

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