The Met Office and Devon County Council are joining forces on Wednesday, March 2 to support Fairtrade Fortnight and re-enforce the message that buying Fairtrade products contributes to sustainable development for producers, workers and their communities in producer countries.
Fairtrade Fortnight starts on Monday, February 28 and this year the focus is on cotton.
Cotton farmers in West Africa face rising costs and falling prices, as well as unfair competition from subsidised US-grown cotton, according to the Fairtrade Foundation.
At a joint event at the Met Office on Wednesday, March 2, staff and county councillors will have the opportunity to meet Abdoulaye Diakite, a Fairtrade cotton producer from Mali who has been invited to visit Devon for Fairtrade Fortnight. There will be a presentation, discussions about Fairtrade and stalls.
The Met Office stall will have a display about the impact of climate change in Mali and people will be encouraged to decorate Fairtrade bunting flags at the Devon County Council stall, as part of Fairtrade Foundation’s world record attempt to create the longest and fairest length of bunting.
For cotton growers, moving away from harmful pesticides and fertilisers, as required by Fairtrade standards is very important and the extra income from Fairtrade benefits the community.
Buying cotton that has been grown in conditions which meet the Fairtrade standards ensures that the growers or the co-operative will have received a fair price for the cotton, giving them more control over their lives.
(from a press release)