Fairtrade Fortnight launches across UK

Cotton is the focus of this year’s Fairtrade Fortnight (February 28th–March 13th), which is being promoted under the slogan ‘Show Off Your Label’.

The Fairtrade Foundation’s campaign is designed to encourage shoppers and businesses to display the Fairtrade Mark during the two-week period.

Ashish Deo, the Fairtrade Foundation’s Commercial Director said: “Showing off will give businesses the opportunity to share their enthusiasm for Fairtrade and to showcase their range of Fairtrade products as well as to tell the story of the people behind the products.”

The Foundation is celebrating the fifth anniversary of Fairtrade cotton and a report issued last year (The Great Cotton Stitch-Up) revealed that subsidies paid to European and North American cotton farmers are depressing world prices, making it impossible for small-scale farmers in West Africa to compete.  

Today, most West African cotton farmers are earning less than $1 a day and the ten million West African people who rely on cotton for a living are amongst the poorest in the world. Even though one in four people say they have bought Fairtrade certified cotton products in the UK, still less than one per cent of cotton fashion on the high street carries the Fairtrade Mark.

As part of the celebrations, Divine Chocolate, owned by cocoa farmers, is holding a series of events across the country. Members of  Kuapa Kokoo will be talking to school children, shoppers, church groups, local businesses and government officials in Liverpool, Warrington, Bradford, London, Oxford and Cardiff over the fortnight. For details visit: s.coop/icc.

Meanwhile, co-operative schools and Young Co-operatives will be taking part in a number of initiatives to raise awareness. 

The Young Co-operatives has organised a fashion show at City of Ely Community College in Cambridgeshire, while Fulston Manor School, a co-operative Business and Enterprise College in Sittingbourne, Kent, will be tying parts of the curriculum into Fairtrade through art and geography.

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