Campaign sows seeds of change
The Africa to Ashford Fairtrade Fortnight has been hailed as a success by organisers
ASHFORD’S Fairtrade Fortnight has drawn to a close following a range of events to highlight the importance of offering producers a fair price for their goods.
People of all ages have been thinking about the impact of their shopping habits on producers in third world countries, as well as those at home.
This year’s theme was Ashford to Africa and schools, businesses, football teams, churches and many other groups have learned how Fairtrade can help reduce world poverty.
“From a slow start the campaign really got going at the end and I’m delighted that so many people got involved and helped us spread the Fairtrade story,” said Andrew Hind, spokesman for Ashford’s Fairtrade steering group
“A straw poll of local businesses would suggest that the campaign has generated a lot of local interest in and demand for Fairtrade products and the linking of fairtrade for all producers, both here and in the Third World has resonated with local people.”
The two-week campaign has raised awareness of Produced in Kent, a marketing organisation supporting farmers and producers in the region whose livelihoods are threatened by competition from the supermarket giants.
Fairtrade Fortnight has highlighted how by supporting Fairtrade, people can help sustain whole communities.
Mr Hind has also spoken about the charity, Jambohut, which helps conserve wildlife through the sale of wood carvings and other craft items made by Fairtrade producers in Kenya.
Half of net profits go towards wildlife projects in Africa.
“The next phase of our campaign is to translate that untapped demand into a greater availability of Fairtrade products, so that consumers can actually buy what they want, preferably without having to pay a premium,” added Mr Hind.
These Kenyan wood carvers are guaranteed a fair price for their products through the Fairtrade scheme