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6 March 2006

Local MP leading support for national ‘Fairtrade fortnight’

John Barrett, Liberal Democrat MP for Edinburgh West, is leading support in parliament for Fairtrade Fortnight 2006 which kicks off today.

Mr Barrett has today launched a parliamentary motion in support of this year’s campaign organised by the Fairtrade Foundation. The theme of this year’s campaign is ‘Make Fairtrade Your Habit’. The aim is to encourage people to become part of the ‘quiet revolution’ which has seen such great Fairtrade success in the UK, now the world’s biggest market for goods carrying the FAIRTRADE Mark.

In a statement, John Barrett, who is also a member of the House of Commons International Development Committee, said:

“I am delighted to be able to support Fairtrade Fortnight. The growth in the fairtrade market in recent years has been fantastic and it is important that we keep up this momentum.

“I am delighted that Edinburgh has been named a Fairtrade city for the second year in a row. We now need to encourage other towns and cities across the country to follow this example.

“Fairtrade Fortnight will help raise awareness of the importance of fairer trading rules and will keep up the impetus for change. After the disappointment of the latest round of WTO talks in Hong Kong it is crucial that we do not allow this issue to slip off the agenda.

“Buying Fairtrade really does make a difference. People know when they are buying Fairtrade goods that they are putting money directly into the pockets of those who need our help. I hope that Fairtrade Fortnight 2006 will encourage even more people to pick up this good habit.”

Notes

· Mr Barrett has submitted the following motion to parliament:

That this House welcomes the start of the Fairtrade Fortnight on 6th March with its theme ‘Make Fairtrade Your Habit’; acknowledges the unique significance of Fairtrade in providing disadvantaged farmers and workers with a better deal from trade and in raising awareness of trade issues amongst UK consumers/citizens; welcomes continued growth in the awareness of Fairtrade products; notes that in 2005 the UK was the world’s leading market for Fairtrade goods; welcomes the fact that there are now 150 Fairtrade towns, cities, boroughs, villages across the UK; congratulates those towns who will achieve Fairtrade status during the Fortnight; and calls on the government to actively encourage schools, local authorities and retailers to adopt fair trade principles.

· For more information on Fairtrade Fortnight go to: http://www.fairtrade.org.uk/get_involved_fairtrade_fortnight_2006.htm

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This website was established while I was a Member of Parliament. The site content is being kept online as a source of information, but all forms / email have been disabled.