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Douglas Alexander in Lancaster to celebrate Fairtrade boost

06 November 2009

Douglas Alexander today joined Lancaster District Fairtrade supporters to help them celebrate the UK's recent £12m boost in funding for the mark and their fifth anniversary.

The International Development Secretary praised the Lancaster, Morecambe and District Fairtrade Group for their contribution in promoting Fairtrade products at the event in Lancaster Town Hall.

Thanks to local supporters, Fairtrade products are now used by the local council, shops, cafes, businesses, churches, schools and community organisations.

Group members welcomed the Government’s recent announcement of £12m new funding of Fairtrade, which will help twice as many farmers in the developing world work their way out of poverty.

International Development Secretary Douglas Alexander today said:

"It is encouraging to see an active local Fairtrade group like this celebrate its fifth year of campaigning.

Community groups make a real contribution to encouraging local people to buy Fairtrade and help farmers in developing countries to make a decent living as a result.

"These are exciting times for the Fairtrade mark. Last month I announced £12m new funding for Fairtrade which will help to bring an even bigger range of new products to our shelves and greater benefits to more producers in the world's poorest countries. 

"I'm sure local groups like this up and down the country will continue to lead the way in encouraging people to make a difference with their daily shop."

The value of Fairtrade goods sold globally should triple to £9 billion a year by 2013, thanks in part to DFID's increased commitment. 

Shoppers in the UK will see the Fairtrade range, which already includes products as diverse as cosmetics, cotton, coffee and olive oil, expand to potentially cover new lines which could include wood, fish and a wide range of fruit and vegetables.

Students from Lancaster and Morecambe College baked a special Fairtrade cake to mark their fifth year celebrations.

Also present at the event were members of Garstang Fairtrade Group (the UK’s first Fairtrade group) who have just completed the first ever “Fairtrade Way” Walk from Garstang to Keswick – a five day walk staying exclusively at Fairtrade towns en route.

Douglas Alexander visits Lancaster Fairtrade group

Douglas Alexander visits Lancaster Fairtrade group