A fair deal for food producers

PUBLISHED: 11:32 01 March 2007 | UPDATED: 11:37 06 May 2010

Fairtrade food may be a bit more expensive but it means producers are getting a fair deal

Fairtrade food may be a bit more expensive but it means producers are getting a fair deal

WE RE now part way through Fairtrade Fortnight, and while I wholly support the idea behind Fairtrade food, I can t help thinking that we do make life complicated for ourselves. Anyone who is, like me, interested in the environment or ethical production, j

WE'RE now part way through Fairtrade Fortnight, and while I wholly support the idea behind Fairtrade food, I can't help thinking that we do make life complicated for ourselves.

Anyone who is, like me, interested in the environment or ethical production, just keeps getting more things to worry about.

If I really tried to stick to my beliefs, everything I ate would need to be organic, locally grown wherever possible, or Fairtrade when it had to come from abroad.

On top of that, I want to avoid evil E-numbers and try to eat my 'five a day' fruit and veg.

I'm not sure I'd actually be able to eat anything if I stuck to all those criteria, certainly not anything I'd been able to prepare or buy after a busy day at work.

It just seems to me that we're so demanding in modern life we've made it all overly complicated.

It's because we want all manner of exciting and interesting foods at any time of year, because we want them as cheaply as possible, because we're money-obsessed - right from individuals up to huge multinationals - that we have to take a step back and start to consider how these things are produced.

But that is the world we live in and in order to change it, we all have to do our bit, so I will continue to try to buy wisely.

The feature we ran last week on Fairtrade opened my eyes to how much variety there is out there in terms of fairly traded food, and some of it was delicious.

There are 1,300 Fairtrade products on the market, all of which guarantee that producers in the developing world are getting a good deal.

It can't be denied that some of these products are more expensive than their non-Fairtrade counterparts.

But at some point every one of us has to decide what we are prepared to pay to know that product is ethically produced.

It might be a few pence extra but it will be a few pence well spent.

l Shameless plug time. Former Comet reporter Sue Fisher has been very busy lately organising the first North Hertfordshire Book Festival, which starts today (Thursday).

There is a wide range of events going on including talks, debates, story telling and film screenings. It really is an exciting and interesting project for the area. I hope as many people as possible will go along at some point over the 18 days it runs.

For more information, ring North Herts District Council on 01462 474544.


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