Bexhill encouraged to buy rice to help world’s poorest

Bexhill has been a Fairtrade town for 10 years
Bexhill has been a Fairtrade town for 10 years

The town is being invited to take part in an initiative with the aim of helping the world’s poorest children.

Bexhill Fairtrade Committee has issued a Rice Challenge to schools, community groups, faith groups, workplaces and other organisations whereby they are encouraged to buy and/or sell a number of bags of rice over the next five weeks.

The challenge starts on Saturday (May 13) at All Saints Hall in Sidley, where the committee will have a Fairtrade stall at the Christian Aid coffee morning from 10.30am to noon.

Saturday also marks World Fair Trade Day.

Jack Doherty, chairman of Bexhill Fairtrade town committee, said: “Last year in the UK about £1.7bn was spent by fair-minded citizens on fairly traded products. Although this is a great result compared to 20 years ago, it is still a sum roughly equivalent to a day’s takings in a large supermarket chain. How can we continue this progress in a world where almost a billion people go to sleep hungry every evening?

“Fairtrade events are both reminders and opportunities for us to up our game to give the fair option to the poorest and change their lives.

“World Fair Trade Day puts the emphasis on a range of independent companies which source products on a fairly traded basis with agreed principles, for example Bexhill’s internet business Natural Flow and seven ranges of clothing in Ward’s.

“There are some quite creative projects in the fair trade movement. For example, Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world and after four years’ free primary education there is no free secondary education. Many poor farmers grow rice to raise cash to pay school fees. Selling 90 bags of 1kg rice at £3 is enough to pay for one pupil for a year.

“In the past 18 months in Bexhill we have bought enough to educate 18 pupils for a year.”

Those wanting to take part in the challenge should ring 01424 214605.

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