Fairtrade Fortnight preview at Bexhill WI meeting

Jack Doherty and Alan Bearne of Bexhill Fairtrade Town Committee with early Easter eggs at a WI meeting
Jack Doherty and Alan Bearne of Bexhill Fairtrade Town Committee with early Easter eggs at a WI meeting

Members of the Bexhill Fairtrade Town committee made a presentation on the upcoming Fairtrade Fortnight at a Women’s Institute meeting on Wednesday (February 17).

Fairtrade Fortnight starts on Monday (February 29) and aims to encourage people to buy responsibly-sourced goods to support the third-world farmers who grow them.

As Bexhill is a Fairtrade Town, the group in charge told the WI in Little Common how they can get involved and what is going on over the next two weeks.

Committee member Jack Doherty used the hymn Jerusalem to tell the moving stories behind the labels and said he enjoyed talking to the WI.

“It was very good, there were some very good questions and answers which carried on at the stall,” he said.

“The WI were one of the founding members of Fairtrade UK 21 years ago so it’s in part of their blood and they’re quite involved at the moment, but hopefully they will become even more involved.”

The WI members bought many Fairtrade products such as kitchen and garden gloves, soaps and hand wash dispensers, chocolate and Easter eggs, muesli, biscuits and cookies – some of the 45,000 goods now available.

Fairtrade-certified products guarantee a fair wage, healthy conditions and no child labour for the people growing or making them.

There was lively discussion on the effect of Fairtrade rice from Malawi financing the secondary education of poor farmers, as there is no free secondary schooling there.

The committee’s Alan Bearne discussed how easy it is for each one of us to change the future of the poorest by our choices in the shopping aisles.

The theme for this year’s fortnight is Sit Down for Breakfast and Stand Up for Farmers – emphasising eating Fairtrade food for breakfast so the farmers can feed their families.

Jack said he is looking forward to the next couple of weeks to promote the work Fairtrade UK does.

“The more people who buy Fairtrade products, it’s guaranteed the producer is supported,” he said.

“It’s about trying to get people to connect and solve the problem of starvation.”

A dozen cafes have already signed up to serve Fairtrade tea, coffee, sugar and possibly biscuits, marmalade or muesli with their local eggs and bacon.

Churches, schools, colleges and businesses across Bexhill are also making this Fairtrade option.

During the fortnight, each time you buy Fairtrade, you will be entered into a free draw for a bottle of Fairtrade wine or box of chocolates.

Any other willing cafes should contact the committee or Jack by emailing jackdoherty@sky.com.

The winning names will be drawn on St Patrick’s Day on March 17.

There is lots planned for Fairtrade Fortnight, starting with Fairtrade elevenses at No 48 on Tuesday, March 8.

There will also be a round on Fairtrade at the quiz in the evening.

Bexhill Fairtrade Town has its ninth annual Fashion Show in collaboration with Bexhill College on Thursday, March 10, at 6.30pm for 7pm.

This will celebrate the wonderful creations using fairly-traded cotton materials from Bazaar, Nomads and Lovethatstuff.

The college textile and art students will display their own unique designs on the glamorous cat walk in the Izzard Theatre.

Barbara Wilson of FAIR in Brighton will lead with stunning garments on the theme of Around the World in Eight Countries.

Book your tickets online at the college website.

For more information about the fortnight visit: www.bexhillfairtrade.org.uk.

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