Local residents and businesses are being encouraged to think more about where their products come from, as part of a nationwide campaign to ensure that all cocoa farmers are paid a fair income.
Hackney Council will be holding a range of events across the borough to mark Fairtrade Fortnight (24 Feb – 8 March), including pop-up stalls where residents can sample fairtrade food, an evening of storytelling, films and quizzes, and informative displays at Hackney Libraries which showcase a range of books on fairtrade to coincide with World Book Day on 1 March.
The Council is also working with businesses on the Narrow Way by providing fairtrade tea, coffee, snacks and other products for their staff, and encouraging them to stock at least one fairtrade item, with the aim of having at least 50% of stores on the Narrow Street offering fairtrade options. This achievement would see the Council endorsed by the Fairtrade Foundation for their efforts in supporting fairtrade.
The UK chocolate industry is worth at least £4 billion each year, but the cocoa farmers in West Africa who produce the nation’s favourite treat make on average less than 75p a day – which is well under the local poverty line of £1.40 a day, according to statistics from the Fairtrade Foundation. The picture is even more bleak for women farmers in West Africa, who often have fewer rights than men and often earn less than a quarter of the money generated, despite working in the fields, looking after children, carrying water and helping to transport the crop to market.
Fairtrade Fortnight is the Fairtrade Foundation’s annual movement to help highlight these inequalities and encourage people to think before they buy.
Hackney is a Fairtrade borough and has hosted Fairtrade events for the last 13 years, with the Hackney Fairtrade Group operating since 2008 to promote this ethos to local businesses and organisations, and help influence where they get their supplies.
For more information visit www.hackney.gov.uk/Fairtrade or follow @FairtradeHackne on Twitter.
Hackney’s Fairtrade Fortnight events
Hackney Fairtrade pop-up stalls
- Monday 24 February, 10:30am-3pm
Hackney Service Centre, 1 Hilman Street, Hackney, London E8 1DY
Salvation Army Restaurant, Mare Street, E8 4RT
Calling all chocolate fans! Come and sample our fairtrade chocolate fountain, taste fairtrade olive oil and herbs, find out information about fairtrade and try out your luck in our raffle
Saturday 29th February, 7:30-10pm
St Paul’s Church, West Hackney, 184 Stoke Newington Road, N16 7UY
Come and find out more about fairtrade at our fun social evening, with short fairtrade films*, a quiz, storytelling, discussion and fairtrade samples.
*The short films will focus on cocoa and the special role that women farmers play in the journey to living incomes. Empowering women by fighting and campaigning for their rights and for a living income means enough money for them to live a simple but dignified life – paying for essentials such as clothing, medicine and school – which we strongly believe are not luxuries but human rights.
You can also help support fairtrade by:
Buying fairtrade products – fairtrade tea, coffee, fruit, sugar, chocolate and clothes are all available in shops in Hackney
Encouraging your workplace to stock fairtrade tea, coffee and sugar
If you attend a place of worship, encouraging them to stock fairtrade products
Support Fairtrade Foundation’s national campaign: www.fairtrade.org.uk/en/get-involved/current-campaigns/Fairtrade-Fortnight