THIS year’s Fairtrade Fortnight runs from February 26 to March 11, and I know that as supporters of Fairtrade, many people in Penarth - from schools to businesses, faith groups to voluntary organisations, elected representatives to charity campaigners and more – will be getting involved in the nationwide campaign.

The 2018 campaign is called ‘Come On In’, and invites the public to come in to the world of the people who grow our food, to see what life can be like when farmers and workers aren’t paid fairly. It explores how businesses, farmers, workers and shoppers can come together through Fairtrade to change this.

It will challenge the British public to open their doors to Fairtrade and help close the door on the exploitation facing farmers and producers in developing nations – because it’s important to understand the problems facing farmers and workers, in order to fully appreciate how Fairtrade works as a solution.

Being part of Fairtrade means farmers not only get a fairer price for their products, but they also get a little extra to invest in developing their farms. For many of the farmers, it means they can grow food for themselves and their families as well as crops to sell. Meanwhile, for workers on large plantations, the money they earn from Fairtrade can help subsidise the cost of everyday food when times are tough.

Here in the UK, when you buy Fairtrade products you are buying into the Fairtrade ethos. When products have been certified as Fairtrade, it means they have been produced by small-scale farmer organisations or plantations that meet Fairtrade social, economic and environmental standards – which include protection of workers’ rights and the environment, payment of the Fairtrade Minimum Price and an additional Fairtrade Premium to invest in business or community projects.

Fairtrade Fortnight reminds us all that by a few simple changes to the way we shop and the products we buy, we can make a real difference to producers in the developing world. It’s also an opportunity for us to celebrate the positive impact of Fairtrade.

Thanks to the work of Penarth Fairtrade Forum, local traders and many others, Penarth gained Fairtrade Town status in 2006; and Wales made history in 2008 by becoming the world’s first Fairtrade Nation – and the campaign is going from strength to strength.

I hope that people in Penarth will continue to play their part – you can find out more at and