Fairtrade Fortnight begins on Monday 26 February, and runs to 11 March 2018. The town of Reading is no stranger to this initiative, having become a 'Fairtrade Town' in 2004. Reading also has a steering group which promotes Fairtrade in Reading, and part of being a Fairtrade Town involves producing a directory of businesses, shops, cafés and restaurants that support and sell Fair Trade products.
Fairtrade Fortnight aims to put a spotlight on ethical trading. When trade is fair it has the potential to improve the lives of the farmers and workers who grow food. It is a shocking fact that millions of poor farmers who produce the food we consume still do not earn enough to feed their own families. Through Fairtrade, millions of poor farmers and workers are already coming together to demand a change. They are working hard to close the door on exploitation and transform their communities, supported by Fairtrade.
Reading East MP Matt Rodda gave his support to Reading's continued involvement in the Fairtrade movement. He said:
“Reading has a long history of being associated with the Fairtrade movement, dating back to the passing of the first Fairtrade resolution in 1996 to the University becoming a Fairtrade University. This year is Reading's 14th year as a Fairtrade town; something we should all be proud of. I hope that during this Fairtrade Fortnight, many more people will learn more about the Fairtrade movement and make an informed decision about their choices when shopping for food and products so that many more growers and manufacturers will be able to benefit from fairer payments for those goods. At the same time, the Fairtrade organisation continues its efforts to tackle the rife exploitation of farmers, growers and manufacturers in these poorer countries.”