BRITISH people spent half a billion pounds on Fairtrade products last year.
Two stories in today’s Examiner illustrate how the movement is growing locally in the Huddersfield area.
In one, we shine the spotlight on Meltham, where they are aiming to become a Fairtrade town.
In the other, we take a look at a campaign running with support from students and staff at Huddersfield University.
Both articles show the desire of people to do good by developing countries.
But do our efforts really make a difference?
Are the lives of poor farmers in Africa, Asia and South America really improved?
Well, listen to the words of Fairtrade spokesman Mark Richardson about chocolate.
“Around 51% of the cocoa used to make the chocolate we eat has been produced using child slavery,” he has said.
“These children are often abducted, or sold into slavery by families who cannot afford to keep them. They’re then forced to work on cocoa plantations for no money, living in appalling conditions and suffering regular beatings.
“This is happening to children as young as nine.”
People have a choice when they go shopping – either to buy products that exploit people or look out for Fairtrade products, which guarantee a fair deal to third world producers.
Fairtrade may cost a bit more. But do we really want to pay a very cheap price at the misery of someone else?