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Fair Trade Fortnight kicks off this week

Fair Trade Fortnight kicks off this week with representatives from Ghanaian Cocoa co-operative Kuapa Kokoo visiting New Zealand.

Fair Trade Fortnight kicks off this week with representatives from Ghanaian Cocoa co-operative Kuapa Kokoo visiting New Zealand.

Visiting speaker Erica Kyere from Kuapa Kokoo, says when New Zealanders buy fair trade products they help farmers in developing countries, like Ghana, feed their families, send their children to school, and give their communities access to good basic infrastructure, like water wells.

The Fair Trade Fortnight, an initiative of the Fair Trade Association of Australia and New Zealand (FTAANZ), Oxfam, and Trade Aid, aims to inspire New Zealanders to buy products that people in developing countries have been paid a fair price for.

It is a message New Zealanders are quick to grasp, says Steve Knapp from FTAANZ, with spending on Fairtrade certified products increasing from $2,000 per annum three years ago to over $1 million in 2005.

But Oxfam’s Director, Barry Coates, says we can make a far bigger difference.

“The average New Zealander spends about $130 a year on lollies and chocolates, but of that, only 2 cents per person is spent on Fairtrade chocolate.”

“By simply switching to Fairtrade certified chocolate, New Zealanders can make a real difference. The higher income from Fairtrade guarantees a better deal for producers in poor countries”, he says.

Michelia Ward of Trade Aid says over the next fortnight thousands of New Zealanders will have a chance to find out more about fair trade from the Kuapa Kokoo farmers and coffee farmers from Papua New Guinea, about the difference buying fair trade products makes to them, their families, and their communities.

During the Fortnight, Kiwi’s are also being encouraged to taste fair trade by holding their own Fair Cuppa morning tea or visit Trade Aid shops on May 13 – World Fair Trade Day.

Alternatively, visit one of the many cafés nationwide who are offering delicious Just Treats made with fairly traded products.