Thousands of kiwis will this month take part in New Zealand’s Biggest Coffee Break – a nationwide Oxfam event, in support of Fair Trade Fortnight, encouraging New Zealanders to treat their friends or work mates to a cup of delicious Fairtrade coffee.
The inaugural ‘coffee break’ kicked off today in homes and workplaces from Eden Terrace to Avonside, and more will take place in hundreds of other locations across the country throughout May. These events will not only give kiwis the chance to help coffee farmers work their way out of poverty through Fairtrade, but will raise money to support Oxfam’s work towards a safer, fairer and more sustainable world.
“Fair trade works, and offers the millions of farmers in developing countries a solution to help work their way out of poverty,“ said Oxfam New Zealand Executive Director Barry Coates.
“As consumers we have a very powerful voice – we can influence change simply with the way we shop. Changing to fair trade coffee is an easy way for New Zealanders to become a part of this solution. Kiwis are catching onto this, seeing the real difference that fair trade does make.”
Millions farmers in over 60 developing countries are dependent on the coffee, tea and cocoa industries, struggling to support their families. A growing number of farmers are working their way out of poverty by selling to the fair trade market.
Fair trade guarantees a better deal for farmers and producers in the developing world ensuring farmers are paid a fair and stable price for their coffee and investing money back into the community though projects including health care and education, roads as well as basic infrastructure such as access to clean water and sanitation.
A wide range of fair trade products are now available in New Zealand, from coffee and chocolate, to spices and sports balls. In the past three years, New Zealand’s growth in fair trade sales has rocketed, increasing by 2000 per cent.