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Choose the World You Want this Fairtrade Fortnight

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Stourbridge Fairtrade is inviting people to attend a live event and online festival this Fairtrade Fortnight (21 February – 6 March).

Stourbridge Fairtrade Group will be hosting their event at St Thomas’s Church Hall on Saturday 5 March from 10am to 1.30pm to show people the range of ways they can create the Fair world they want.

Local organisations sharing Fairtrade’s environmental concerns - including Friends of the Earth and the Repair Café – will be taking part with displays, Traidcraft foods for sale, activities for children and Fairtrade refreshments to enjoy.

Jane Williamson from Stourbridge Fairtrade said:

We can all choose to make a difference to the fortunes of farmers and producers around the world by choosing products and food bearing the “Fairtrade Mark”. Fairtrade Standards encourage producers to protect the environment by improving soil, planting trees, conserving water and avoiding pesticides. At the same time, Fairtrade makes training available to producers so that they can use the latest agricultural methods, such as intercropping and shade-grown coffee to adapt to climate change.
In our local shops, online or wherever you shop please look out for the logo on tea, coffee, chocolate, wine, spices, sugar, flowers and other items.

Mr Kouamé N’dri Benjamin-Francklin, a cocoa farmer from Côte D’Ivoire says financial support is a vital element of ensuring that farmers in low-income nations have the tools they need to tackle the increasingly destructive impacts of the climate crisis.

Says Mr Kouamé:

If we carry on planting when we have always done before, when there is no rain and it is so hot, whatever we try to grow is destroyed. Then there is nothing to harvest. That has been happening now for years and production has massively decreased. Because of that, our incomes have massively decreased.
What is more, the little that we can sell isn’t paid at the price it should be paid. Cocoa farmers only earn 3% of the price of a chocolate bar. That’s really sad, being a farmer shouldn’t be a route to poverty.

Patrick Harley, leader of Dudley Council said:

We continue to support the work of Stourbridge Fairtrade and encourage people to do their bit by checking that the bar of chocolate, bananas, tea bags or jar of coffee they buy is Fairtrade.
The Fairtrade Mark on a product means that farmers in the developing world have been paid a fair guaranteed amount that covers their costs of production and also gives them extra money, called the Fairtrade Premium. This helps them fund improvements for their communities. These might be educational and health projects or important adaptations that farmers must now make to cope with Climate Change.

Dudley’s other Fairtrade Town, Sedgley will be running a coffee morning at the community Centre on Sat 19 February from 10am until 12pm organised by Sedgley Fairtrade Initiative. There will be Fairtrade stalls, refreshments and a raffle.

The national Fairtrade Foundation website is full of information about the Choose the World You Want Festival featuring panel discussions, performances, workshops and collaborations between the Fairtrade Foundation and retailers, chefs and high-profile names in the world of food and sustainability.

For people who can’t attend the coffee mornings in Stourbridge and Sedgley, information and ideas about how people can help make a difference can be found at the online event https://www.fairtrade.org.uk/choose-the-world-you-want-festival.

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