Next week is the beginning of fair trade fortnight, and it is now over five years since Wales became a fair trade nation. The concept of fair trade is now well-understood, simply that paying people a fair price for the products that they produce is a far more sustainable and dignified way of improving the lot of smallholder farmers in developing countries than charitable handouts. But there is still a long way to go, because despite growing most of the world’s food, smallholder farmers still struggle to make a sustainable living, get access to finance and improve their community’s economy. A couple of years ago, in spite of support from Llanelli Town and Rural Councils, Llanelli just missed out on becoming a fair trade town – so let’s have another go. Becoming a fair trade town means fair trade products being available in the town’s shops, supermarkets, newsagents and petrol stations and in local catering outlets such as cafés, restaurants and pubs, but of course, they will only stock them if they can sell them. To start the ball rolling we can all make more effort to seek out or ask for fair trade products. We also need community groups to commit to using fair trade products, so if a group you belong to, will commit to buying fair trade tea of coffee for your meetings, please let me know.
To raise the fair trade profile, there will be a stall in the Elli centre on Friday 7 March. If you would like to be involved in raising the profile of fair trade, please contact my office on 01554 756374.