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Aberlour shines spotlight on Fairtrade Fortnight

By Sarah Rollo

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A SPEYSIDE village is encouraging locals to consider their shopping choices ahead of Fairtrade Fortnight.

Aberlour Fairtrade Town is among communities up-and-down the country campaigning for fair trade for all as part of the national two-week event, which runs from February 24 to March 8.

Aberlour is preparing to celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight.
Aberlour is preparing to celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight.

On February 28, a Fairtrade producer will visit Aberlour's schools, giving pupils the chance to learn more and ask questions.

The following day, the local Fairtrade community group is holding a coffee morning in the village's Scout Hall. It will include home bakes and a Fairtrade Chocolate Heaven stall and runs from 10am to noon, with entry £2.50 for adults and 50p for children.

Maureen Anderson, of Aberlour Fairtrade Town, said: "The question we should consider when we are doing our shopping is, 'Do they earn a living income?'

"If the products on the shelves have the well recognised Fairtrade Mark, then the answer is yes – the producers receive a fair return for their work, no child labour is involved, and their communities are paid a Fairtrade premium to use to benefit everybody, like a health clinic, school, clean water... all the things we take for granted here."

This year, Fairtrade Fortnight is shining a special spotlight on the hidden inequality experienced by the women and girls behind the multibillion global chocolate industry.

In West Africa, where 60 per cent of the world’s cocoa is grown, the average woman cocoa farmer earns as little as 23p a day. In Côte d’Ivoire, despite carrying out 68 per cent of the labour, women have fewer rights than men, get less money than men and are often landless.

Fairtrade’s standards, innovative programmes and research are changing this for some.

Julia Nicoara, director of public engagement at the Fairtrade Foundation, said: "Many of us don’t know the bitter truth of exploited farmers behind much of our chocolate, with women doing much more of the work for much less of the pay.

"This Fairtrade Fortnight, our campaign is: She Deserves Fairtrade, and we’ll be telling and hearing the stories of some of the inspirational women cocoa growers.

"Help us write a different story for the cocoa farmers behind our chocolate; choose Fairtrade and support a different future where poverty and inequality have no place in our chocolate."

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