Fairtrade a sweet deal for developing world farmers

THE horseburger scandal has put food traceability at the top of many a shopping list and Fairtrade campaigners say that by seeking out its label on products, consumers know exactly what they are getting.

THE horseburger scandal has put food traceability at the top of many a shopping list and Fairtrade campaigners say that by seeking out its label on products, consumers know exactly what they are getting.

And as Fairtrade Fortnight begins in Limerick, Martha Lunji will make a presentation on how sugar from her cane farm in Malawi ends up in your cup of tea on Mallow Street.

The Fairtrade campaign ensures a fair price for producers in the developing world and buying a product with the label means the profits aren’t swallowed up by commodity traders and retail giants.

Fairtrade Fortnight in Limerick will be launched at the Irish Aid offices on Henry Street this Wednesday, February 27, by Mayor Gerry McLoughlin, with Ms Lunji due to speak at the event.

Fairtrade Ireland’s Peter Gaynor commented that “without our support now, farmers in developing countries face a difficult and uncertain future”.

“Smallholders in developing countries are increasingly hit by fluctuating commodity prices affecting their income and the prices they pay for the food they buy themselves, rising global food prices, rising production costs, and increasingly the impacts of climate change. Notwithstanding the ongoing economic recession in Ireland, Fairtrade continued to grow in 2012.”

Limerick has been a Fairtrade city for seven years now, a status achieved through the adoption of a resolution at the City Council, the appointment of a local committee, awareness campaigns in schools and encouraging a critical mass of retailers to stock a range of Fairtrade goods.

Local events over the next two weeks include a quiz night at Punches Hotel on Wednesday, March 6 (8pm); visits to schools by the Fairtrade committee and a celebration by the One World Society of Mary Immaculate College’s third birthday as an official Fairtrade college on March 5.