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MP backs fair trade for farmers

4th March 2019

West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin has offered her support to the Fairtrade initiative which helps farmers to get fair prices for their products across the globe.

The MP attended a briefing in Westminster this week as part of Fairtrade Fortnight and met with farmers from the Ivory Coast, Rwanda and the Dominican Republic.

The Fairtrade Foundation’s campaign ‘She Deserves a Living Income’ is shining a light on the poverty facing cocoa farmers in West Africa, where 60 per cent of cocoa is grown, who earn as little as 74p per day and are unable to pay for essentials like food, send their children to school or buy medicine if they fall sick.

Harriett commented: “During my travels across Africa as part of my Ministerial job, I have seen at first hand, some really positive stories of how UK aid helps farmers.

“Chocolate is a luxury good here in the UK but it can be a poorly rewarding job for workers – especially women in Africa – and I support this initiative to help inform more people about the potential costs of not buying fair trade products. As consumers in the UK we can help by buying products with the Fairtrade logo on.”

A new report from the Fairtrade Foundation, launched at the event in Parliament, reveals women cocoa farmers often carry the greatest burden and yet get the least reward. It calls on the government and businesses to ensure farmers earn living incomes by 2030 in line with the UN’s Global Goals to end poverty.

Awa Traoré, who is the director of the Fairtrade cocoa co-operative, added: “Women are very important in the development process. If you want to change the lives of producers, you have to focus on women. In our community we use the Fairtrade premium to redress the balance: to train women, to teach them how to read and write to empower them and we have developed activities that create income for them.”

Photo: Harriett Baldwin MP (left) is briefed by Fairtrade director Awa Traoré.

Harriett Baldwin MP (left) is briefed by Fairtrade director Awa Traoré.

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Harriett Baldwin
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