David Martin, Scotland’s senior MEP, has pledged his support for this year’s Fairtrade Fortnight which starts this week and lasts until the 8th March.
This year marks the 20th Fairtrade Fortnight and so it will celebrate the impact that Fairtrade has had on growers and producers in some of the world’s poorest countries. 2015 is also the EU’s Year for Development which is aiming to raise awareness and start a debate about international development projects.
David Martin, Labour MEP and spokesperson for International Trade for the S&D Group in the European Parliament, said:
“The Fairtrade label has allowed consumers to shop ethically and empowered growers in developing countries by giving them a fair price for their produce. Fairtrade has played a vital role in tackling the extreme exploitation of producers in poor countries which is what we will celebrate during Fairtrade Fortnight.”
In 2013 alone, sales of Fairtrade products in the UK allowed producers in developing countries to invest over £26 million in community projects. Although Fairtrade certification has grown hugely in its impact and awareness since it was launched, it is estimated that just 10% of tea and 1.2% of cocoa in the world is traded on Fairtrade terms.
Mr Martin added:
“Although there is still a long way to go to make more people aware of the huge difference Fairtrade can make, we can be proud of what ethical retailers, consumers and manufacturers have achieved in the last 20 years. By choosing Fairtrade products like tea, coffee, chocolate, bananas and flowers, consumers can help build housing, schools, health facilities and much more for the people that grew their shopping.”