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Monday, March 27, 2017
Ethical trading - good for cooking and better for business
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Ā Ethical trading makes good business sense - that was the message delivered by Clare Short, Secretary of State for International Development, at the Fairtrade Foundation¹s fifth birthday celebrations in the House of Commons last Friday. Ms Short said products like Nicaraguan coffee, chocolate and tea, which were originally sold after Mass in church porches - by people like her mother - have turned round unexpectedly huge profits and are now attracting the attention of all the supermarket giants. The enterprise, organised by CAFOD, Christian Aid, Oxfam, Traidcraft and the World Development Movement to support producers in the Third World, began with just four products. They now have a range of 45 and sales have expanded at a steady 65 per cent a year. The value of Fairtrade products at the checkout has grown from two and three quarter million in 1994 to 14 million in 1998. A recent MORI poll suggests that many more consumers intend to buy Fairtrade products in future as they become more available in high street shops such as Sainsbury's, Tesco, Safeways, Waitrose and Co-Ops, as well as health food shops. "This has enormous implications for people in the developing world," said Ms Short. "It helps producers have control over their future and guarantees them a fair return for their work." The Fairtrade mark is the only UK consumer label given to products from the Third World once they have met strict standards regarding quality, fair trade terms and conditions for workers. A tea grower from Uganda, Jossiah Kinsanga, described how the project had enabled his remote community of 3,100 families to send their children to school for the first time and improve sanitation. Kitango Iko, representing a group of cocoa farmers from Belize said Fairtrade had transformed their lives. Until 1994, low prices meant that many families had been forced to abandon their land to seek work in the cities. Thanks to this new enterprise, they are now able to stay and improve their way of life. TV cook Anthony Worral Thompson joined other celebrity chefs in endorsing Fairtrade. He said: "For flavour and quality these products are simply the best. As a cook I choose to use them and I am happy to recommend them. I don't know many cases where virtue brings its own rewards so obviously."
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