This was the strong message from Luton’s Deputy Mayor Cllr Maria Lovell as she launched Fairtrade Fortnight (24 February to 8 March) in the town earlier today.
The council and its partners want to use the fortnight to educate residents and businesses about the positive difference buying Fairtrade products can make to the lives of the producers and farmers overseas who grow the things we eat and use on a daily basis such as tea, coffee and bananas.
Fairtrade allows farmers to sell their good quality, sustainably sourced and ethically produced products for a fair price. It helps them to support their local communities and produce their products in a way that respects and nurtures the environment.
Cllr Lovell said: “Luton is compassionate town and I’m so proud that we can come together to support this campaign. We will use Fairtrade Fortnight to show people how they can support a living income for some of the world’s poorest farmers and workers around the world by buying Fairtrade products.
“There are over 4,500 Fairtrade products from coffee and tea to gold and beauty items, so when you shop, look for the FAIRTRADE mark.”
The campaign was marked earlier today beside one of the town’s welcome signs near Stockwood Park which proudly displays the Fairtrade town message. Cllr Lovell was joined by colleagues from the town’s Fairtrade Steering Group and the Luton Council of Faiths.
Mohammad Ryad Khodabocus of Luton Council of Faiths, who has been spearheading the Fairtrade Campaign with the Luton Fairtrade Steering Group recalled the occasion a few years ago when Tokkie Bowman, a Caribbean banana farmer had visited Luton. Someone had asked him why we should buy Fairtrade. His answer was simple and yet very profound, “When you buy Fairtrade, you buy a little bit of humanity too.”
David Jonathan, Director of the Grassroots Programme, Luton Council of Faiths and the Fairtrade campaign initiator in Luton said, “Fairtrade isn’t Charity – it is Justice. To give people what they deserve and to take an active role in reducing worldwide exploitation we must support Fairtrade.”