Castlereagh Alliance Councillor Michael Long has welcomed progress on the Council’s Fair Trade policy at the monthly Council meeting.
Councillors agreed to back the Making Poverty History campaign and have also agreed to increase the number of Fair Trade tea and coffee products used by the Council following a Taste Test in the Spring. The Council is to actively promote the use of the wider range of products to Councillors and staff in the upcoming months in the hope of increasing the amount of Fair Trade products used by the Council.
Cllr. Long said:
“I welcome progress in the Council’s Fair Trade policy. Earlier this year I arranged a Taste Test for Councillors to see if we could find a wider range of Fair Trade products which Councillors could use. This followed the release of figures showing that the percentage of tea and coffee products which were Fair Trade had fallen to just over a third in the past year. I am pleased to say that following the test, the Council is now to provide more Fair Trade products and will also use the next few months to further promote Fair Trade beverages amongst the staff.
“I am also pleased that the Council have backed my proposal to support the Making Poverty History campaign aimed at alleviating poverty in the Third World. Last month’s G8 summit went a long way to increasing aid and cancelling debt but there was minimal progress on achieving Trade Justice.
The Fair Trade movement allows everyone the opportunity to tackle this unresolved matter as growers receive a fair wage for their products whilst money also goes to providing better living and working conditions for the poorest people in the world.
“In the past there has been less than enthusiastic support for Fair Trade policies in the Council but I am pleased that this new initiative has the support of members from across all parties. Castlereagh is clearly sending out a message that we want to see an end to trade injustice and are prepared to take practical steps to achieve our goal.”