TO celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight 2022 schools and communities across Monmouthshire will be holding a range of events and activities to help people learn more about Fairtrade and climate change, the future of our food and those who produce it.

Fairtrade Fortnight, 21 February – 6 March 2022, is an important part of Monmouthshire’s response to the Climate Emergency, since it gives an opportunity for individuals, communities, and businesses to stand with farmers in low-income countries who are affected daily by climate change.  By buying Fairtrade products, we can all play a role in ensuring farmers can benefit from fairer prices, fairer trading practices and the resources needed for tackling the climate emergency.

Monmouthshire has several schools who have achieved Fairtrade School status, and pupils from these schools plus many others will be doing assemblies, class work and other activities to help children learn about the difference that buying Fairtrade can make to people. Like Jenipher, a coffee grower from Uganda whose region has been hit by landslides caused by climate change.  Monmouthshire pupils met Uganda coffee grower Jenipher Wetaka at Fairtrade Schools event in Raglan just before lockdown started in 2020.

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Monmouthshire County Council Councillor Lisa Dymock, Cabinet Member for Community Wellbeing and Social Justice, said:

“The impacts of climate change are being seen both across the world and closer to home here in Monmouthshire.  By thinking about what we buy, and buying items with the Fairtrade Mark when we can, the farmers who grow our tea, coffee, cocoa, sugar, bananas and so on are able to learn new techniques to both look after the environment and also to help them adapt to climate change and become more resilient.”

Volunteers from Monmouthshire’s four Fairtrade Town groups are also organising events and displays to help communities learn about the difference buying Fairtrade can make, so why not support one of these dates if you can:

Abergavenny:  A table outside Waitrose all day (10 till 4) on Saturday 26th February, raising awareness of Fairtrade. Pancake lunch on Shrove Tuesday March 1st, in Abergavenny Methodist hall from 11.00 till 1.30.  Christchurch is holding a themed coffee morning on Thursday 3rd March.  There’ll be two Fairtrade displays in town: one in Red Square (opposite Waterstones), the other at the Oxfam shop in Frogmore St.  Fairtrade themed assemblies in local schools.

Chepstow: Fairtrade assembly at Pembroke school in Bulwark, Fairtrade window displays under the Town Arch, in Oxfam and Toytastic – and the Fairtrade flag flying over the town arch.

Monmouth: Fairtrade coffee morning at Monmouth Priory on Saturday 26th February 10am to 12.  Home made cakes and biscuits and raffle with Fairtrade prizes.

Usk: Fairtrade stall at the Usk Farmers’ Market Saturday 5th March at the Willows Garden Centre in Usk

Fairtrade is committed to fighting the climate crisis. Fairtrade Standards encourage producers to protect the environment by improving soil, planting trees, conserving water and avoiding pesticides, while Fairtrade’s programmes include climate academies for farmers to share best practice. At the same time, Fairtrade makes training available to producers so that they can use the latest agricultural methods, such as intercropping and shade-grown coffee to adapt to conditions.

 

By Gwynoro Jones

Former MP for Carmarthenshire, Gwynoro Jones joined the team covering politics in Wales. He has a wealth of experience in politics and has been a regular commentator on radio, TV and in newspapers in Wales. Email: gwynorojones@walesnewsonline.com

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