Nigel Evans, MP for the Ribble Valley, met with representatives of the Clitheroe Fairtrade Group; Kerry Fletcher, Wendy Higson and Katy Holden, last Saturday to discuss the future of Fairtrade.
Clitheroe was first awarded Fairtrade status in 2010 in recognition of the strong support for Fairtrade within the town. Local businesses such as The Emporium, Byrnes’ Wines, Megabites and Cheesie Tchaikovsky sell a wide range of Fairtrade products which support small-scale farmers in achieving a stable income and helping secure long-term contracts. The Fairtrade movement is extremely popular in the UK, with over 600 Fairtrade towns and 4,000 schools registered in the Fairtrade Schools Scheme. Clitheroe Fairtrade Group are pushing for the continuation of this success in the Ribble Valley, and regularly organise events and festivals to promote Fairtrade items.
Speaking from Clitheroe, Nigel said:
“It is always a pleasure to meet with constituents who are active in promoting important issues like Fairtrade. It is paramount that Fairtrade growers and producers are supported throughout the UK to provide a sustainable source of income and improved livelihood for the most impoverished nations on the planet.”
“As a member of the International Development Committee, I have visited some of the most impoverished nations on the planet and have witnessed first-hand the tremendous impact sustainable agriculture can have on communities, this is why I fully support the goals of the Fairtrade movement in giving producers a platform trade fairly.”
However, Mr Evans was well-aware that more could be done to support farmers in the developing world:
“To further improve existing Fairtrade schemes, the next step would be to remove punitive taxes on the countries that provide base ingredients for products like cocoa and coffee, this can be achieved by invested in processing plants to allow poorer nations to oversee the start-to-finish manufacture of Fairtrade goods.”
There are Fairtrade stalls on the first Saturday of every month between 10.30am -3pm at Clitheroe United Reformed Church, and on the last Saturday of every month at Trinity Church during their Coffee Stop between 10am-12pm