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Fairtrade Fortnight 2017

January 29, 2017 8:06 PM

FairtradeTrowbridge is hosting a special guest from Kenya on Tuesday 7th March from 15:00 - 17:30, to celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight (7 Feb - 13 Mar) and to hear a producer's perspective on the difference Fairtrade makes around the world.

Patrick Kaberia Muthaura from the Michimikuru Tea Company, Kenya, will meet with people from the local community, Wiltshire Councillors, Mayors and MPs from across the county at County Hall as part of the Fairtrade Foundation's annual producer tour.

This year Trowbridge has been selected for this event and the meeting will also hear of the plans to establish Wiltshire as a Fairtrade County.

Patrick has been a tea farmer for 24 years and currently sits on the Fairtrade Premium committee for the cooperative that became Fairtrade certified in 2007.

Fairtrade has made a huge difference to the lives of tea farmers from the Michimikuru Tea Company, their families and local communities, by enabling them to earn a stable income and the Fairtrade Premium that they have used for school fees and to build new classrooms and maternity wards.

The Company is also implementing programmes to help farmers adapt to climate change that is affecting their crops and is being a threat to their food security.

The Fairtrade Fortnight 2017 campaign aims to inspire people to hold a Fairtrade Break and shine a light on the struggles farmers face to feed themselves and their families.

Despite working hard every day to grow the food many of us take for granted - coffee, tea, bananas and cocoa - millions of farmers don't earn enough to know where their next meal is coming from.

500 million small-scale farmers produce 80% of the world's food. Out of these, 400 million smallholder farmers are undernourished.

Fairtrade works with more than 1.5 million farmers and workers in developing nations enabling them to earn a sustainable income and the Fairtrade Premium that they can invest in vital community, business and environmental projects, including programmes addressing food insecurity.

Peter Barnett from WiltshireFAIRTRADE said: "Fairtrade means many producers and workers across the world are able to do what we take for granted - put enough food on the table for themselves and the people they care about, all year round. We have been campaigning for Fairtrade for many years through Wiltshire's many campaigning groups and have learnt what difference it makes for the world's most vulnerable communities by making farming and production viable in generating vital economic benefits.

We are inviting people to come along and listen to Patrick's compelling story, there are 2 key public events, firstly at Marlborough Town Hall on Saturday evening 4th March and then County Hall Trowbridge on Tuesday afternoon 7th March, full information on the events will be published locally as well as on the WiltshireFAIRTRADE website."

Patrick said: "Fairtrade has brought Michimikuru out of the traditional working set up. With Fairtrade standards the environment matters, what you do, how you treat animals and how people treat each other."

Adam Gardner, Communities Campaigns Manager for the Fairtrade Foundation said: "Farming is the backbone of the world, it's simply wrong that the people who produce what we eat go hungry themselves. We hope that as many people as possible will support WiltshireFAIRTRADE this Fairtrade Fortnight and give Patrick a warm welcome."

From 29 FEBRUARY - 13 MARCH, thousands of events will be held across the Country to amplify the campaign in many of Fairtrade's network of over 600 Fairtrade Towns, 1350 Fairtrade Schools and 170 Fairtrade Universities, and 7,500 Fairtrade Places of Worship.

You can find out more about Fairtrade Fortnight, and how to get involved in your local area, at WiltshireFAIRTRADE's website: http://www.fairtradesouthwest.org.uk/wiltshire-fairtrade.aspx