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Tower Hamlets shows support for Fairtrade Fortnight

Group shot at Darul Ummah Care House March 5 2016 Cllr Edgar in yellow tieTower Hamlets Council and local community groups played their part to raise awareness and help promote a number of events and activities for Fairtrade Fortnight, which ran from 29 February – 13 March 2016.
Fairtrade Fortnight is a chance for organisations and individuals across the globe to focus on issues that affect farmers and local communities within the developing world.
The Fairtrade Fortnight campaign theme for 2016 was “Sit down for breakfast, stand up for farmers!”  The developed world’s dependence on cheap foods, drinks and products contrasts with around 795 million people who are undernourished globally.
So in many cases the farmers who grow the food and products we take for granted will often struggle to feed their own families.
Local communities were encouraged to host their own Big Fairtrade Breakfasts as an opportunity to discuss the serious challenges facing farmers in the developing world.
A number of events took place in Tower Hamlets including:
A Big Breakfast event on Saturday 5 March between 10am – 12noon at the Darul Ummah’s Care House on Bigland Street, E1 2ND. Residents were encouraged to meet their neighbours, discuss issues around Fairtrade and also strengthen community relations in Shadwell.  Councillor David Edgar, Tower Hamlets cabinet member for resources, including responsibility for Fairtrade attended this special breakfast and said:
“Our unique role as a council with responsibility for the delivery of meals and drinks through schools, public buildings and other locations allows us to establish ethical procurement practices that support Fairtrade farmers.  It’s great that through our actions we not only raise awareness during the fortnight, but are also able to contribute to a better deal for farmers and their families throughout the year.”
Another Fairtrade Breakfast took place the following day from  9.15 to 10.15am on Sunday 6 March at St Mary’s Bow Church, 230 Bow Road, E3 3AH.
The church has been a Fairtrade Church for many years, serving Fairtrade tea and coffee and holding a monthly Fairtrade Traidcraft stall. All were welcome to breakfast in the church – to the accompaniment of bell ringing and invited to stay on afterwards for their Mothering Sunday service at 10.30am
Both events featured lots of tasty Fairtrade food and drink.  They also helped highlight some of the social issues related to Fairtrade, and the crucial role it plays supporting farmers and communities all around the world.
Mayor of Tower Hamlets John Biggs said: “Every year Fairtrade Fortnight gives us an important reminder that through even very simple changes, such as choosing to buy more Fairtrade products, we can help to transform the lives of communities in the developing world.”
“Fairtrade products are not always more expensive than their equivalent products, but the difference made to farming communities by buying Fairtrade is immense and should be encouraged wherever possible.”
Other Fairtrade events and activities include discounts on Fairtrade clothing, food and other products at Queen Mary University of London cafes and shops.