THIS week is the first of the annual Fairtrade Fortnight of celebrations, promoting Fairtrade products and raising awareness of the kinds of difficulties faced by millions of small-scale farmers and producers around the world.
For all the progress made in recent years, a sixth of the world’s population still lives on less than one US dollar a day, the absolute poverty line.
A billion more live on less than $2 each day.
For many of these people the chance to make a small but reliable profit on their crops would make a world of difference. For more than 1m small-scale producers that is exactly what Fairtrade does. It is not charity, but it is the best route out of poverty for so many families and communities.
We can all do more to help the world’s poor to work their way out of poverty. I hope that your readers will keep buying Fairtrade. I hope that people will be able to support the events taking place around the region (details are available online at www.fairtrade.org.uk).
And for anyone who has not yet tried the products why not give them a go when you’re next at the supermarket?
Labour Euro-MP for Yorkshire and the Humber, chairman of the European Parliament Fairtrade Working Group