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Make it happen. Choose Fairtrade kicks off
24
Feb '09
Fairtrade Fortnight is the Fairtrade Foundation's annual campaign call to people in the UK to promote awareness of Fairtrade and buy products carrying the FAIRTRADE Mark. In 2009 it will take place from 23 February – 8 March and will be themed Make it happen. Choose Fairtrade.

Make it happen. Choose Fairtrade reflects the urgency of expanding Fairtrade to benefit more farmers and their dependents in the developing world. It is also aimed at galvanising campaigners, supporters and the general public to organise events for the Fortnight.

Harriet Lamb, CEO of the Fairtrade Foundation says: 'The Fairtrade Foundation's message for Fairtrade Fortnight 2009 is that, while sales of Fairtrade products and awareness of Fairtrade has been growing apace in recent years, change is still not happening nearly quickly enough for the millions of the world's poorest farmers who remain trapped in trade poverty. The challenge now is to urgently scale up the reach and impact of Fairtrade so that by working together, we can succeed in tipping the balance of trade in favour of marginalized farmers and producers. Fairtrade Fortnight is an opportunity for us do something too by holding events at work, at home or in the community.'

The Big Debate
This year's activities will commence on the 19 February with a top-level conference at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in Westminster, which will launch new Fairtrade Foundation research on the impact of the global food crisis for small-scale farmers.

The conference, entitled: The global food crisis and Fairtrade: Small farmers, Big solutions? is expected to attract around 200 delegates from leading businesses and NGOs around the world as well as a host of Fairtrade producers, MPs and embassy representatives.

The conference will be chaired by George Alagiah, Patron of the Fairtrade Foundation, and will include presentations from Justin King (Chief Executive of Sainsbury's), the Minister of State for International Development Gareth Thomas MP, and other high-profile speakers. Following the conference, the Fortnight will also trigger a series of regional debates on trade, climate change and ethical shopping (Oxford 23 February, Cardiff 25 February, Birmingham 2 March, Edinburgh 4 March, Leeds 5 March), hosted by Fairtrade networks and organisations which support Fairtrade. Register for the regional debates at www.fairtrade.org.uk .

On your marks, get set, go Fairtrade!

Fairtrade Fortnight's official public launch will be a sporty day of fun and games for all the family on London's South Bank, near Gabriel's Wharf on Sunday 22 February. Alongside many delicious Fairtrade product tasting opportunities, visitors will be able to hear directly from Fairtrade producer partners from around the world, make a Fairtrade smoothie under their own pedal power and compete in mini-hurdling and Fairtrade product weight lifting competitions to win a Fairtrade chocolate medal and stand on the Fairtrade champions' podium. The Fairtrade Foundation chose the sporting theme to highlight its ambition to double the impact of Fairtrade globally by 2012, the year that London will host the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Celebrities from the world of sport are expected to attend.

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