Tom Brake looks forward to Fairtrade fortnight

February 28, 2011 2:50 PM

MP for Carshalton and Wallington Tom Brake is urging local residents to participate in Fairtrade fortnight this month. The fortnight, which runs from 28th February to 13th March, is aiming to increase awareness of the Fairtrade movement. This year's campaign will focus in particular on the plight of small scale cotton farmers in West Africa whose trade opportunities are severely limited by EU and American subsidies.

Tom, whose office switched to using many Fairtrade products five years ago, said: "This fortnight is a great opportunity to promote and celebrate ethical trading on a local level. There will be lots of events running in Sutton so I would encourage as many people as possible to go along and see what it's all about."

As one of five hundred Fairtrade towns across the UK, Sutton will be celebrating the fortnight through a series of events across the borough. Local churches St. Michael's and All Angels and St. Paul's in Wallington will hold Fairtrade services, and on 12th March the Sutton Fairtrade community group will set up a stall in the St. Nicholas Centre giving local shoppers the opportunity to sample some Fairtrade products.

The Chair of the Sutton Fairtrade community group Judy Walsh said: "We are encouraging residents to participate in Fairtrade week through trying out more of the 3,000 Fairtrade products that are now on the market, and particularly to support the Fairtrade cotton campaign by wearing Fairtrade."

Despite the economic downturn, nationwide sales of Fairtrade food have grown by almost 65% over the last two years.

Tom said: "People are becoming increasingly committed to supporting the Fairtrade movement. Simply by continuing to buy ethically sourced products in our shops we can contribute directly to improving the lives of millions around the world."

The Sutton Fairtrade community group meets every six weeks at the Sutton Salvation Army on Benhill Road, and includes representatives from local businesses, voluntary groups and schools. If you would be interested in attending you can contact the group at For more information about Fairtrade fortnight in Sutton and the issue of ethical cotton produce visit their website at

What would you like to do next?