Monday, 18 July 2011

Fair trade, trading fairly

By Mary Locker and Elsa Neuman

On Tuesday 21 June, we set off for Otago Girls' High School for a talk
by Harriet Lamb, Head of Campaigns at the World Development Movement.
She talked to us about the importance of the fair trade organisation,
which has changed the lives of so many people so far.

Fair trade ensures that farmers get a fair deal for their products (2
or 3 times the price they usually get) so they have enough money to
live on plus a bit extra.
Harriet Lamb told us a few stories about how much fair trade had done
for people. Here is one of them.

In Malawi, a place in Africa, there was a village where the people had
to walk 1.5 kilometres to a river to get water. The river was infested
with crocodiles; one person a year got attacked, and the water wasn't
even clean!

Because of fair trade, they got extra money and spent it on a water
pump in the village. Another problem was the straw huts they lived in,
which leaked when it rained. So next time the village had enough money
they bought bits of corrugated iron and put it on the huts so they had
proper roofs. With the next extra money they got electricity in the
huts so the danger of fire was decreased.

It really is amazing what fair trade has done for poor farmers in
developing countries.
She told us how much power children have over big companies.
Apparently they really listen to children who write letters to them.

There are still farmers waiting in line to become fair trade farmers
but they can't unless we buy more fair trade products. So it is very
important to buy as many fair trade products as you can so you can
play a part in making life better for others.
Fair trade rocks!

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