Mayor launches Fair Trade Fortnight in Londonderry

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The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Alderman Hilary McClintock, attended a Coffee Morning at Sainsbury’s Supermarket Café on Monday morning, to mark the beginning of a two week campaign to highlight the importance of Fairtrade.

Fairtrade Fortnight runs from February 27 until March 12 2017 and aims to promote and encourage the fair payment of food growing farmers and workers throughout the world.

The Fairtrade initiative was established to ensure developing world farmers are provided a guaranteed minimum price that covers sustainable production and the ability to trade in global markets without exploitation.

Speaking at Monday’s Sainsbury’s event, the Mayor encouraged the public to play an active role in the events planned over the next two weeks.

“Alleviating and overcoming global poverty is a cause that is particularly important to me and I am extremely proud of Council’s endorsement of the Fairtrade principles,” said Alderman McClintock.

“A significant amount of the products we buy are grown or produced by farmers in the developing world who are not paid a fair price for their work and forced into poverty.

“During Fairtrade Fortnight I would encourage the public to make a particular effort to purchase products that are Fairtrade certified and to continue that habit into the future to help end the exploitation of farmers and workers throughout the world,” she added.

Among the events planned for the next two weeks is a workshop for Primary and Secondary School children in Pilot’s Row Community Centre on March 10, where Haris Ulises Lopez Picado, a Fairtrade chocolate producer from Nicaragua, will speak to pupils and answer questions.

The legacy Derry City Council was awarded Fair Trade status in March 2014 and, in 2015, elected representatives passed a resolution to demonstrate Council’s support for a campaign to achieve Fairtrade status for the entire Derry City and Strabane District Council area.

Council are part of a Fairtrade Steering Group that promotes Fairtrade and endeavours to achieve the status for the whole council area.

When a product carries the Fairtrade Mark it means it was produced according to international Fairtrade standards. These standards ensure Fairtrade products are socially and economically fair and environmentally responsible. Key standards include the payment of a minimum price and a premium.

Further information on Fairtrade Fortnight is available online at www.fairtrade.ie and www.fairtrade.org.uk e mail fairtrade@derrystrabane.com or contacting Heather Hamilton on 02871253253.