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NZAID supports Fair Trade Week

4 May 2004
NZAID supports Fair Trade Week

"Fair trade is about trade and aid working together, so I'm delighted that through NZAID we’re able to support this year’s Fair Trade week," Aid Minister Marian Hobbs says.

NZAID is the government international aid and development agency. With the support of NZAID, Oxfam and Trade Aid have organised activities throughout New Zealand to promote Fair Trade week. Events include seminars at major universities and Fair Trade Fiestas in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.

"Fair Trade is about paying people in poorer countries a fair price for their produce, whether it be tea, coffee, bananas or other products. A decent income allows them to send their children to school, pay for health care or re-invest in business," Marian Hobbs says.

"Trade growth gives poorer countries more money to tackle poverty long after aid money has done its job. Our aid funding can help create the infrastructure and environment for trade to grow."

Fair Trade products must meet certain standards. Producers are paid a fair price, and basic working conditions set by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) must be respected, such as decent wages, minimum health and safety requirements, no child labour, and equal pay for men and women.

Fair Trade products are sold in 17 countries across Europe. In the United Kingdom, Fair Trade sales were 92 million pounds in 2003, up 46 per cent on 2002. One Fair Trade brand, Café Direct, is now the UK’s sixth largest coffee brand. Fair Trade bananas have eight per cent of the Dutch market and 13 per cent of the Swiss.

With NZAID assistance, Trade Aid in New Zealand has seen selling Fair Trade products in its shops for many years. Trade Aid is now developing relationships with some of New Zealand's major retailers and supermarkets with a view to them stocking Fair Trade goods.

ENDS

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