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Trade Aid reflects on International Fair Trade Day

Trade Aid reflects on International Fair Trade Day

Trade Aid stores around the country are asking Kiwis to reflect on their shopping behaviour, as New Zealand kicks off International Fair Trade Day, on Saturday, May 17.

The stores will carry reflective promotional material that asks, “Are you a conscious consumer?” backed up by information flyers prompting shoppers to use their purchasing power wisely.

“Fair trade is a practical alternative to the existing international trade regime, which is entrenching poverty and destroying the environment; to continue on this course is to perpetuate suffering”, says Trade Aid General Manager, Geoff White. “We know the difference fair trade makes to the lives of our trading partners and their communities. Asking New Zealanders to be more conscious of their consumer behaviour fits naturally with our reputation as a nation for finding practical ways to help those less fortunate.”

In the coffee sector, farmers and workers are at the raw end of a price crash so severe the World Bank has stated, “If current trends continue as predicted by many, a coffee crisis could evolve into a broad social and environmental crisis.” World Fair Trade Day coincides with a high level meeting of the World Bank and International Coffee Organisation on May 19th, at which members of the Fair Trade movement will be calling for the major players in the coffee trade to work together to provide long-term sustainable solutions. In the meantime fair trade continues to be a lifeline for many, but the major coffee corporates are continuing to hold out.

World Fair Trade Day 2003 comes in the year that the Fair Trade movement is bigger and wider than ever. For example Fair Trade bananas now represent 15% of the Swiss market, while Fair Trade organic coffee represents 70% of the organic coffee market in Austria. ‘IFAT’, the International Federation for Alternative Trade, represents Fair Trade producer associations, exporters, importers and retailers in more than 55 countries. This year, May 17th will see more than a thousand events across New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Asia, Europe, Africa, and the Americas. Check http://www.wftday.org/ for further details.

Trade Aid stores around the country are conducting a variety of events from coffee and tea tasting to public awareness street activities. Check http://www.tradeaid.co.nz to find your nearest store.

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