The Watford Fairtrade Steering Group launches Fairtrade Fortnight in Watford

Watford Observer: Picture: Peter Jeffree Picture: Peter Jeffree

Fairtrade Fortnight was launched in Watford last night.

The Watford Fairtrade Steering Group held the launch in the Council Chamber, where supporters from churches, commerce and campaign groups attended.

Recently, the Fairtrade Foundation renewed Watford’s status as a Fairtrade Town.

There were speakers from Zaytoun Olive products in Palestine and Shared Interest.

Zaytoun, established in 2004, works with 3,500 producers in the West Bank, and supplies olive oil, dates, almonds and sun-dried tomatoes to UK and Irish markets. It was the first organisation to be licensed to sell Fairtrade Olive Oil in 2009.

Shared Interest is a Fair Trade Investment company that makes loans to small-holder producers and buyers in developing countries, to help the development of their businesses and achieve sustainability.

Sales of Fairtrade products in the UK have continued to increase by over 10 percent each year for the past four years.

Comments (5)

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8:00am Wed 27 Feb 13

Mohandas says...

Perhaps the food industry needs to stop its obsession with the mantra ‘buy low, sell high’ and really embrace some of the Fair Trade concepts such as traceability to producer , fair wages, or assurances that the supply chain is free from exploitation. Unless we make room at the table for discussions on eg environmental concerns surrounding production, the ethics of subsistence wages, we risk corrupting our market system with all sorts of unpleasant products such as the latest scandal surrounding the use of horse meat and any talk of an ethical trade policy like so many policies is like whistling in the wind.
Perhaps the food industry needs to stop its obsession with the mantra ‘buy low, sell high’ and really embrace some of the Fair Trade concepts such as traceability to producer , fair wages, or assurances that the supply chain is free from exploitation. Unless we make room at the table for discussions on eg environmental concerns surrounding production, the ethics of subsistence wages, we risk corrupting our market system with all sorts of unpleasant products such as the latest scandal surrounding the use of horse meat and any talk of an ethical trade policy like so many policies is like whistling in the wind. Mohandas

9:52am Wed 27 Feb 13

MarsLander says...

Mohandas wrote:
Perhaps the food industry needs to stop its obsession with the mantra ‘buy low, sell high’ and really embrace some of the Fair Trade concepts such as traceability to producer , fair wages, or assurances that the supply chain is free from exploitation. Unless we make room at the table for discussions on eg environmental concerns surrounding production, the ethics of subsistence wages, we risk corrupting our market system with all sorts of unpleasant products such as the latest scandal surrounding the use of horse meat and any talk of an ethical trade policy like so many policies is like whistling in the wind.
I don't think we could afford it.

This is a terrible scandal with Horse meat but the system overall works pretty well and food is produced at a reasonable cost.

Prosecute wrong-doers in the food chain, but leave the others alone to do what they do well, put healthy food on our tables.

As many commentators have said, what did you expect in a 35p burger?
[quote][p][bold]Mohandas[/bold] wrote: Perhaps the food industry needs to stop its obsession with the mantra ‘buy low, sell high’ and really embrace some of the Fair Trade concepts such as traceability to producer , fair wages, or assurances that the supply chain is free from exploitation. Unless we make room at the table for discussions on eg environmental concerns surrounding production, the ethics of subsistence wages, we risk corrupting our market system with all sorts of unpleasant products such as the latest scandal surrounding the use of horse meat and any talk of an ethical trade policy like so many policies is like whistling in the wind.[/p][/quote]I don't think we could afford it. This is a terrible scandal with Horse meat but the system overall works pretty well and food is produced at a reasonable cost. Prosecute wrong-doers in the food chain, but leave the others alone to do what they do well, put healthy food on our tables. As many commentators have said, what did you expect in a 35p burger? MarsLander

5:27pm Wed 27 Feb 13

Wacko Jacko says...

Fair Trade is about traceability and also giving a fair deal to the food producers particularly in the third world.
The supermarket food chain (with one or two notable exceptions) has little interest in either of these aims, the big food stores drive down the price they pay suppliers to maximise profits for shareholders.
And as we now know have been selling us horse meat dressed up as beef. I have to disagree with Mars, what you should expect from a 35p beefburger is just that - beef, and if the supermarkets can't deliver what it says on the label at that price they will have to up the price they pay the suppliers.
Fair Trade is about traceability and also giving a fair deal to the food producers particularly in the third world. The supermarket food chain (with one or two notable exceptions) has little interest in either of these aims, the big food stores drive down the price they pay suppliers to maximise profits for shareholders. And as we now know have been selling us horse meat dressed up as beef. I have to disagree with Mars, what you should expect from a 35p beefburger is just that - beef, and if the supermarkets can't deliver what it says on the label at that price they will have to up the price they pay the suppliers. Wacko Jacko

5:58pm Wed 27 Feb 13

MarsLander says...

Wacky,

If I may correct you..

35p burgers are never all beef, they have filler which covers a variety of ingredients you would never add to a meal yourself.

What you might not expect to find is horse, and rightly so. I hope the culprits are caught and punished for their fraud.

I also hope that food prices are kept as low as possible so that we do not have people going hungry. If that means ignoring fairtrade then so be it.
Wacky, If I may correct you.. 35p burgers are never all beef, they have filler which covers a variety of ingredients you would never add to a meal yourself. What you might not expect to find is horse, and rightly so. I hope the culprits are caught and punished for their fraud. I also hope that food prices are kept as low as possible so that we do not have people going hungry. If that means ignoring fairtrade then so be it. MarsLander

9:07pm Wed 27 Feb 13

Mohandas says...

You are absolutely correct Mars that everything has a price.

The problem is we are not talking about the odd rabbit for the pot but everyday meat products which are sold to schools, hospitals, retirement homes, families and creates widespread mistrust which threatens the livelihood of so many farmers as with BSE, bird flu and salmonella. Just look at its other namesake the FSA, which helped to fuel the catastrophic credit crunch. This agency has failed to stop being minced into some Europeanised politically correct officialdom. To quote from its own in house magazine strangely called BITE, ‘virtually all of the food safety rules applied in the UK originates in Europe’.

The campaigns by this expensive quango could hardly be more banal or patronising. One absurd recent publicity effort, on the theme ‘Your Fridge is Your Friend’, treated the public like infants or idiots.

‘Before you go shopping, check what’s in the fridge or freezer,’ was one piece of sage advice. ‘Make a list of what you need to buy,’ went another.

A similarly condescending campaign, called ‘Safer Food, Better Christmas’, proclaimed: ‘Always wash your hands properly’, while giving us the vital information that ‘other popular meats served up on Christmas Day include goose, duck, venison, ham and gammon’. You don’t say!
You are absolutely correct Mars that everything has a price. The problem is we are not talking about the odd rabbit for the pot but everyday meat products which are sold to schools, hospitals, retirement homes, families and creates widespread mistrust which threatens the livelihood of so many farmers as with BSE, bird flu and salmonella. Just look at its other namesake the FSA, which helped to fuel the catastrophic credit crunch. This agency has failed to stop being minced into some Europeanised politically correct officialdom. To quote from its own in house magazine strangely called BITE, ‘virtually all of the food safety rules applied in the UK originates in Europe’. The campaigns by this expensive quango could hardly be more banal or patronising. One absurd recent publicity effort, on the theme ‘Your Fridge is Your Friend’, treated the public like infants or idiots. ‘Before you go shopping, check what’s in the fridge or freezer,’ was one piece of sage advice. ‘Make a list of what you need to buy,’ went another. A similarly condescending campaign, called ‘Safer Food, Better Christmas’, proclaimed: ‘Always wash your hands properly’, while giving us the vital information that ‘other popular meats served up on Christmas Day include goose, duck, venison, ham and gammon’. You don’t say! Mohandas

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