MONTROSIANS are being encouraged to get behind World Fairtrade Day this Saturday, May 12, to help ensure continued production of their favourite goods.
Harriet Lamb, Fairtrade Foundation executive director, recently recalled a visit to cocoa producer in Ghana with the chief executive of Cadbury’s which prompted the confectionery giant to turn to Fairtrade production.
She said: “One of the reasons Cadbury’s first went Fairtrade is because they realised to their horror that the average age of a cocoa farmer in Ghana is 56.
“I went to Ghana with the chief executive of Cadbury’s and we met a farmer called Benjamin Atiemo. He was a bit shy in front of this chief executive, but eventually he explained: ‘All my sons have gone to Accra, they haven’t got jobs, they’re living rough, but they don’t see any future in growing cocoa beans, they just think it is drudgery for no money.’
“Cadbury’s say that was a complete wake up call for them: no beans, no bars.”
Peter Stevens, of the Montrose Fairtrade committee, said the same situation applies to coffee and bananas.
He added: “So if you want to continue enjoying these products then I suggest you start buying the Fairtrade versions. We need to encourage the farmers to keep growing their crops by ensuring they get a fair price in return. Only Fairtrade guarantees that will happen.”