March 12, 2011
MP and Steve Redgrave launch fair trade campaign
MP Tessa Munt has this week joined Fairtrade Ambassador and five-times
Olympic gold medallist Sir Steve Redgrave at the launch of a new
fair trade campaign.
The launch comes at the start of this years Fairtrade Fortnight,
highlighting the Fairtrade Foundations 'Great Cotton Stitch-Up'
campaign to end unfair European cotton subsidies.
West African cotton producers are some of the poorest farmers
in the world and yet last year they had to compete with EU farmers
who received over £600m in subsidies.
Tessa said: "It is utterly scandalous that West African
farmers, earning less than $1 a day, cannot use their farming
skills to trade their way out of poverty. From the number of Fairtrade
goods in our local shops, I know trade justice is something local
people really care about. I am pleased to be backing Fairtrade
this Fortnight and the bid to break the bunting record."
"Behind this campaign is a serious message to end unfair
European cotton subsidies and to make trade fair. Thats
why I am supporting this bid, so we can help some of the poorest
cotton farmers in the world make a fair wage from their work."
A record attempt is also being held during this years Fairtrade
Fortnight to create the world's longest bunting. The target to
beat is 2,986 metres. Fairtrade campaigners and supporters around
the country are aiming to reach at least 4,350 metres over
two and a half miles - and the final bunting will be displayed
on World Fairtrade Day 14th May.
Sir Steve Redgrave added: "I am delighted that Tessa is
backing Fairtrades campaign. I have visited West African
cotton farmers in Mali and seen how hard it is make a living from
cotton. Farmers there are not asking for a handout, just a level
playing field so they can support their families and improve their
communities through hard work. Working together, we can end these
subsidies and make the African cotton farmers lives a little
Pictured are Sir Steve Redgrave and Tessa signing the bunting
which will become part of the world record attempt