HC Deb 22 January 2003 vol 398 c308W
15. Claire Ward

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent action her Department has taken to promote fair trade products; and if she will make a statement. [92218]

Clare Short

My Department has provided financial support to the media campaigns of the Fairtrade Foundation designed specifically to raise both supermarket and consumer awareness of products carrying the Fairtrade Mark. In particular DFID has provided £120,000 to the Fairtrade Foundation over three years (2001–03) in support of its efforts to target new groups through its annual Fairtrade Fortnight campaigns.

In addition, last year DFID approved a project (at a total cost of £300,000) designed to address a recognised bottleneck within Fair Trade—namely the limited number of products for which international Fair Trade standards exist. The project aims to develop new Fair Trade product standards, secure the registration of new producer groups and help bring additional Fair Trade products to supermarket shelves over the next two years. The target is to increase the retail value of Fair Trade sales in the UK to over £100 million per annum by 2004 and by so doing extend the benefits of Fair Trade to a greater number of producers in developing countries. By expanding the scale of Fair Trade activities, the project also aims to secure a sustainable future for the Fairtrade Foundation, so that its core operational costs (including the cost of subsequent promotional activities) can be fully funded from the income it receives from licensees.

Although a niche market, Fair Trade can play a catalytic role. In the UK and Europe, the activities of the Fair Trade movement have raised awareness of the positive impact our buying decisions can have on poverty. These activities have in turn contributed to the growing demand for ethical trading standards to be employed by multinational companies in their dealings with developing country suppliers.

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