Castlebar and Westport are now Fairtrade Towns. Fairtrade Fortnight 2007 from 26 Feb to 11 March, aims to increase awareness and to promote the wide range of Fairtrade products available, such as bananas, rice, juices, chocolate, etc. Supervalu and Tesco will host in-store information stalls and a number of schools and other local groups will be hosting Fairtrade coffee mornings and information days.
All you have to do is switch some of your weekly purchases over to Fairtrade products.
Fairtrade is a means of providing producers with a better livelihood. Fairtrade guarantees better working conditions, better pay and also a premium for the producers which has been used to provide clean water, electricity, education to their communities. It is a means of closing the gap between rich and poor:
"You can be helping someone all your life but nothing changes. Tell more people that we are producers who are capable of change. It is a worldwide movement, which aims to reduce the injustice of the imbalance between rich and poor… The coffee is produced by capable people and we would like consumers to recognise the value of what we are doing."
PEDRO ANTONIO HASLAM, COFFEE PRODUCER, NICARAGUA
Your purchases during Fairtrade Fortnight, and indeed at any time of the year, help people to help themselves in countries like Nicaragua.
At the official launch of Castlebar and Westport as Fairtrade towns earlier this year, it was recognised that a lot of work has gone into achieving this status but also that the launch is just the beginning. Raising awareness of the benefits of using Fairtrade products is a continuous campaign. If your organisation is interested in holding an event email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 087 99745984.
For more information on Fairtrade and other events around Ireland see http://www.fairtrade.ie/.