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Fairtrade fortnight starts Monday

PUBLISHED: 08:00 19 February 2010 | UPDATED: 09:17 01 August 2010

Dan Haynes

THE mayors of Waveney's two Fairtrade towns joined forces in Beccles last Friday to promote a two-week campaign to get people buying Fairtrade products.

THE mayors of Waveney's two Fairtrade towns joined forces in Beccles last Friday to promote a two-week campaign to get people buying Fairtrade products.

The national Fairtrade Fortnight starts on Monday and will be well-supported in Fairtrade towns Beccles and Lowestoft.

Members of the towns' Fairtrade steering groups, the mayors of Beccles and Lowestoft, and chairman of Waveney District Council Alan Duce, all met at Beccles Public Hall to encourage as many people as possible to get behind the campaign.

People are encouraged to show their support for small producers in developing countries by swapping items on their regular shopping list for the Fairtrade version.

This year's campaign is aiming for one million and one swaps, and every swap will be proof that the people of the UK want producers in the developing world to get a fairer deal.

Meanwhile there will be a number of Fairtrade-promoting events taking place in each town over the fortnight.

The mayor of Beccles, Jack Walmsley, said: “Beccles is proud to be a Fairtrade Town. We are committed to the Fairtrade cause and you can't go far without being given the option to choose Fairtrade.

“The list of available items is endless and there really is no excuse not to swap. I'd like to encourage everybody to think about their choices during the next two weeks and hopefully beyond.”

Beccles will be hosting a “big brew” event next Sunday, February 28 at Hungate Church from 4pm until 6pm. Alongside a range of Fairtrade teas to try for free, there will be homemade cakes and biscuits, which include Fairtrade ingredients and a stall where you can buy products from leading Fairtrade suppliers Traidcraft.

At 4pm, Elizabeth Bracken, who has been involved with Fairtrade in Beccles for the past 18 years, will give a talk entitled my visit to India with Traidcraft.

She will describe her visits to different Fairtrade producers ranging from farmers in South India who grow ginger for biscuits, to jewellery makers in Delhi, stone carvers in Agra and embroiderers in Calcutta. This will be followed by Fairtrade tea with cakes and biscuits at 5pm.

Wendy Moxon, co-ordinator of Beccles Fairtrade Town Steering Group, said: “We are excited to be offering people the opportunity to get a real sense of how Fairtrade benefits producers and why we should all make the change. We hope people come along and support our Big Brew event and Fairtrade Fortnight's Big Swap.”

To find out more about Fairtrade Fortnight in Waveney visit www.waveney.gov.uk and click on the story on the homepage.

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