Tag Archives: fairtrade

Lib Dem MEP supports Fairtrade group in campaign to help sugar farmers after EU rule change

As Co-Ordinator of Lib Dem Fairtrade Future (LDFF) I’m proud to announce that we’ve launched a new campaign, Help Sugar Farmers, in support of a major effort from the Fairtrade Foundation (the governing body of Fairtrade in the UK) to get a fair deal for sugar farmers in African, Caribbean and Pacific countries following a European Union rule-change which-unless mitigation is provided-will likely lead to around 200,000 people being pushed into poverty.

I’m a proud pro-European but we have to be up-front when the EU makes decisions which adversely affect people both within the EU and-as in this case-beyond.

As noted by the Fairtrade Foundation, the EU has decided to do away with a cap on the amount of sugar grown in Europe which has previously helped to protect the livelihoods of sugar farmers (including around 60,000 who are part of the Fairtrade initiative) by enabling them good access to European markets.

LDFF supports the Fairtrade Foundation in calling for the EU to ‘lead a response which brings together businesses, other EU member states, governments in affected Countries, small farmers and civil society’ and to ‘provide new funding from the EU’s own development budget.’

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Parliamentarians “gorging” on a maximum of one and a bit chocolate bars a week? I don’t think so.

chocolateYou have to wonder who thinks up freedom of information questions like “How many chocolate bars do the catering outlets in Westminster sell?” But the Sunday Times (£) reports that somebody has asked precisely that question and that the number of chocolate bars bought in 2013 and 2014 totals just under 200,000. This leads them to conclude that our MPs and Peers are “gorging” their way through some massive chocolate stash. It’s like we’re meant to see them as some sort of court of Henry VIII busting out of their breaches.

In fact, I was surprised that the amount is so low. Let’s think about it. There are 650 MPs and 800 members of the House of Lords who attend regularly. Even if we only count them, that’s 1450 people. That only allows them 69 chocolate bars a year each. It’s not even two for every sitting week. When you add in all of their staff (and most MPs will have at least one person in their Westminster office) and all the visitors to the place, it reduces that amount even further. Maybe they’d all be happier if they ate more chocolate, not less.

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Michael Moore MP named as MP of the Year by Liberal Democrat Fairtrade Future

michael-moore-mp-secretary-of-state-for-scotlandMatt Whittles and I, as the co-founders of Liberal Democrat Fairtrade Future (LDFF), are delighted to announce that we’re awarding our first ever MP of the Year award to Michael Moore, the MP for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk.

We’re awarding him this honour in recognition of all of the hard work he’s put in to his Private Members Bill – currently working its way through Parliament – which will enshrine into law the UK’s promise to spend 0.7% of the UK’s gross national income on International Aid.

We couldn’t be more proud that it is a Lib Dem MP who has brought this Bill before Parliament and we fervently hope it gets signed on to the Statute Books.

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Opinion: Liberal Democrat Fairtrade Future welcomes hospital food announcement

Fairtrdae photo by nagillum

One of the things that makes me proud to be a Liberal Democrat is our belief in fairness.
The very first line in the preamble to our Party’s Constitution states ‘The Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a free, fair and open society…’
I also love that we are an internationalist party.
Indeed the preamble goes on to state, ‘We look forward to a World in which all people share the same basic rights…’
For me these two elements of our founding principles come together the Fairtrade movement which I’ve long since championed.
Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 2 Comments

Michael Moore MP’s Westminster Notes

Every week, Liberal Democrat Secretary of State for Scotland, Michael Moore MP, writes a column for newspapers in his Borders Constituency. Here is the latest edition. 

Fairtrade fortnight

Fairtrade fortnight is now drawing to a close and it has been a great couple of weeks of raising awareness of the brand across the UK to inspire more people to buy Fairtrade. The theme of the fortnight was ‘Go Further’ to encourage people to try new Fairtrade products. I know that many Borderers already buy Fairtrade coffee, tea and bananas, but there are now so many more products available that are definitely worth …

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