East of England Co-op urges support for Fairtrade Fortnight

Fairtrade Fortnight, supported by East of England Co-op

Fairtrade Fortnight, supported by East of England Co-op - Credit: Archant

What can you do to make a difference in Fairtrade Fortnight? With the annual campaign (February 29 to March 13) shining a spotlight on the positive impact of buying Fairtrade, the East of England Co-op is appealing to customers to lend their support to the annual two-week campaign by registering at fairtrade.org.uk/breakfast and taking part in this year’s Big Fairtrade Breakfast.

Fairtrade Fortnight, supported by East of England Co-op

Fairtrade Fortnight, supported by East of England Co-op - Credit: Archant

A staggering 600 million people worldwide are affected by seasonal hunger. Fairtrade gives farmers an equal voice and ensures they are paid and treated fairly, whilst providing an opportunity to improve their social, economic and environmental conditions.

Purchasing Fairtrade products is an easy way to take action and literally changes lives.

During the Fortnight the East of England Co-op will be providing Fairtrade refreshments at a number of events in Felixstowe. This includes the Felixstowe Youth Forum on Monday March 7, where Fairtrade producer Patrick Kaberia Muthara from the Michimikuru Tea Company in Kenya will be visiting schoolchildren from 4pm to tell them all about Fairtrade.

The children from the Youth Forum have put together an exhibition of research and case studies in preparation to the Fortnight, which will be displayed at Felixstowe Library from Monday February 29. These will then be showcased at the Youth Club to share with Patrick the following week.

Patrick will also visit the Trinity Methodist Church, Hamilton Road on Saturday March 12 where visitors will be able to enjoy a Fairtrade cuppa and learn how the Fairtrade initiative has supported his business and family.

Minnie Moll, joint chief executive at the East of England Co-op, said: “We stock a range of products that are perfect to include in a Fairtrade Breakfast, including orange juice, tea, coffee and bananas, and each person that eats one Fairtrade food product and drinks one Fairtrade beverage qualifies as taking part in the campaign. If breakfast isn’t your thing, why not take up the Fairtrade Challenge and swap your usual tea or coffee brand for Fairtrade during the Fortnight?”

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Fairtrade Facts:

• Seasonal hunger is common among smallholder coffee farmers who usually have one main harvest a year

• Cocoa farmers earn an average of $0.50 a day in Cote D’ivoire, West Africa, and food insecurity rises significantly between June and September

• In the world’s main tea producing regions, more than 30% of children are malnourished resulting in stunted physical and mental development. In Malawi this rises to 50%

• The price we pay for our bananas has almost halved in the past decade whilst the cost of producing the fruit has doubled in some regions of the world

• The Fairtrade Minimum Price acts as a safety net for producers by covering the average costs of sustainable production and enables them to predict their income and budget for providing food for their families

Fairtrade is an initiative very close to the East of England Co-op’s heart and Fairtrade 99 tea is donated to good causes across Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex as part of the retailer’s highly successful community scheme, Co-op Cuppa. Since launching the scheme in July last year over 208,000 Fairtrade teabags have been donated by the retailer.

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