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Event – A taste of justice during the Fair Trade Fortnight

Posted in Events, Movements by Ferne Edwards on May 2nd, 2007

The Fair Trade Fortnight, held from 28 April to 13 May in Australia and New Zealand, is the biggest ever promotion of Fair Trade, an international movement offering a fair price and long-term contracts to developing world producers to guarantee their sustainable livelihood. Across Victoria there are series of events happening, including the Macro Wholefoods Promotion, the Belgrave "Guess the Coffee Beans in the Jar competition" and International Fair Trade Day Celebration, and the City of Yarra Fair Trade Celebration in Richmond. There is also a national speaking tour by Costa Rican coffee farmer, Guillermo Vargas Leiton. See http://www.fairtrade.com.au for more information.

Fair Trade is a form of ethical shopping where food products, often coffee, tea, cocoa, sugar, rice and cotton, are bought from growers in developing countries at a fair price and sold to people in other parts of the world. The concept was first introduced in Australia in 2003 and has since proven quite popular here. According to Rumble (28/4/2007) in The Age, retail sales jumped from $145,000 in 2003 to $6.5 million in 2006. However, there is still much more promise in this ethical consumer product, as Bureau of Statistics figures quoted in the same article show Australians spend only $5.2 million on Fair Trade coffee while annual total coffee sales approach more than $510 million a year.

Within Melbourne, stockists of Fair Trade products include coffee chains, Jasper Coffee and Hudson Coffee and the Coles supermarket, while Origin Energy and Orica make Fair Trade coffee available for their staff. To find Fair Trade stockists in Melbourne, go to http://www.fairtrade.com.au/locator. According to this Fair Trade locator site there are 102 Fair Trade stockists within Melbourne alone!

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