SHOPPERS IN ELY who want to buy gifts and food, such as bananas, coffee and chocolate that were not the product of slave labour will benefit from European 'Fair Trade' policies if Britain remains in the European Union.
Launching 'Fair Trade Fortnight' in Ely this week local Cambs Euro Richard Howitt MEP revealed how a new European policy – 'Trade for All' – will create an exciting competition to find the most fair and ethical trading city in Europe by working with local councils to promote more 'Fair Trade' goods and Richard Howitt MEP is hoping Ely may scoop the prize.
A 'Fair Trade' product is one that is produced ethically and guarantees that craftsmen or farmers are paid a fair price for their product and work in safe conditions. There are more than 4,500 Fairtrade products in the UK and the Fair Trade economy is worth more than £1.5 billion.
Richard Howitt MEP is a long-time supporter of the Fairtrade movement in the European Parliament and has previously backed calls for stronger checks on 'blood diamonds' imported from war zones that are used in popular mobile 'phones and gadgets.
Labour Euro MP for Ely Richard Howitt will has today visited Artes Mundi Fair Trade Gifts and meet with local owner Mark Hugo.
"The aim of Fairtrade Fortnight is to challenge shoppers in Cambridgeshire to take a positive step in the right direction by thinking about what they can do every day to make a difference to the lives of people in the developing world who produce the products they buy.
"The Fair Trade 'case' for Europe is clear.
"Inside the European Union Britain is able to push for progressive trade agreements for responsible trade and voters who shop ethically need to ask themselves whether this Tory government would show that obligation to uphold these values.
"Europe has led on the creation of 'Fair Trade Towns' across my constituency with European funding so local people, in places like right here in Ely, can shop ethically."