KENYAN tea farmer Patricia Mutangili has added her support to the campaign to make Angus a Fairtrade Zone.
She also said she hopes that people across the county will celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight, which began on Monday, by drinking Fairtrade tea and coffee from Kenya.
Patricia sent her message to the county during a visit to the Ndima Tea Factory by former Montrose woman Fiona Thomson.
She said: “Tell the people in Angus, by taking that cup of tea or coffee it is going to bring bread to the tables of the producers. It is going to make them educate their children. It is going to make them more employment and they are going to elevate their standards of living.”
Fiona, who now works for Traidcraft, often sees for herself the benefits of the Fairtrade programme to producers which help to finance schools, hospitals and roads.
She said: “As well as being a tea farmer, Patricia is chair of Ndima’s Fairtrade Premium Committee and she has done a fantastic job in making sure that the tea farmers understand what Fairtrade means.
“Ndima tea is used in Traidcraft’s range of Fairtrade teas, so we would love more people to buy the tea as that not only benefits the farmers who grow it, but the Fairtrade premium provides more support for these rural communities.
“They would love to improve local schools and provide more health education and training, but the simple fact is that without selling more Fairtrade tea, this won’t take place.
“I hope that more schools, businesses, churches and individuals in Angus will use Fairtrade products, not just in Fairtrade Fortnight but throughout the year, because it is such a simple way to make a difference.”
As part of its activities for Fairtrade Fortnight, Montrose Fairtrade Forum has organised a wine tasting event in the Garden Lounge of the Park Hotel this Friday (March 4) between 7.30 and 9pm.
The Fairtrade theme will continue the following morning when Montrose Churches Together will run a stall selling Fairtrade goods at the Farmers’ Market, from 10am to 1pm.