With Fairtrade Fortnight (29th February – 13th March) shining a spotlight on the positive impact of buying Fairtrade, the East of England Co-op is appealing to people across the region to lend their support to the annual two week campaign by registering at fairtrade.org.uk/breakfast and taking part in this year’s Big Fairtrade Breakfast.

A staggering 600 million people worldwide are affected by seasonal hunger. Fairtrade gives farmers an equal voice and ensures they are paid and treated fairly, whilst providing an opportunity to improve their social, economic and environmental conditions. Purchasing Fairtrade products is an easy way to take action and literally changes lives.

During the Fortnight the East of England Co-op will be providing Fairtrade refreshments at a number of local events. This includes the Felixstowe Youth Forum on Monday 7th March, where Fairtrade producer Patrick Kaberia Muthara from the Michimikuru Tea Company in Kenya will be visiting schoolchildren from 4pm to teach them all about Fairtrade.

Patrick will also visit the Trinity Methodist Church, Hamilton Road on Saturday 12th March where visitors will be able to enjoy a Fairtrade cuppa and learn how the Fairtrade initiative has supported his business and family.

During the Fortnight the East of England Co-op will be providing energy boosting bananas to the Hamford Primary School breakfast club, in Walton-on-the Naze, and teaching children all about Fairtrade in a special assembly. The retailer will also supply 3,000 bananas to runners after they complete the Colchester Half Marathon on 13th March.

Fairtrade Orange JuiceMinnie Moll, Joint Chief Executive at the East of England Co-op, comments: “We stock a range of products that are perfect to include in a Fairtrade Breakfast, including orange juice, tea, coffee and bananas, and each person that eats one Fairtrade food product and drinks one Fairtrade beverage qualifies as taking part in the campaign. If breakfast isn’t your thing, why not take up the Fairtrade Challenge and swap your usual tea or coffee brand for Fairtrade during the Fortnight?”

Fairtrade Facts:

  • Seasonal hunger is common among smallholder coffee farmers who usually have one main harvest a year
  • Cocoa farmers earn an average of $0.50 a day in Cote D’ivoire, West Africa, and food insecurity rises significantly between June and September
  • In the world’s main tea producing regions, more than 30% of children are malnourished resulting in stunted physical and mental development. In Malawi this rises to 50%
  • The price we pay for our bananas has almost halved in the past decade whilst the cost of producing the fruit has doubled in some regions of the world
  • The Fairtrade Minimum Price acts as a safety net for producers by covering the average costs of sustainable production and enables them to predict their income and budget for providing food for their families

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Fairtrade is an initiative very close to the East of England Co-op’s heart and Fairtrade 99 tea is donated to good causes across Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex as part of the retailer’s highly successful community scheme, Co-op Cuppa. Since launching the scheme in July last year over 208,000 Fairtrade teabags have been donated by the retailer. If you’re an East of England Co-op member and are holding a one-off event, running a regular group or activity or kick-starting something that has a positive impact in your local community, Co-op Cuppa could provide you with a free supply of Fairtrade tea. To apply please visit: www.cuppa.coop

“The Fairtrade facts paint a stark image of the hardships endured by farmers across the world as they provide the foods we often take for granted. Getting involved in the Big Fairtrade Breakfast or swapping your tea or coffee are simple but hugely effective ways for us to show our support and make a difference. Don’t forget, however, to log on to fairtrade.org.uk/breakfast to make sure your efforts are counted,” concludes Minnie.

For more information please visit: fairtrade.org.uk/breakfast