Saturday, 21 May 2011
Smallholders Show at the Royal Welsh
The Fairtrade table in the Green Horizons hall at the Smallholders' Show this year is a Powys wide initiative. Today, everyone manning the stall had come from Hay, but tomorrow there will be people from Brecon and elsewhere.
We had Fairtrade chocolate from the Co-op and Divine for people to try (always good for encouraging people to stop and chat), and some campaign material about cotton subsidies. It seems that the EU subsidise cotton growers in Greece and Spain to the tune of seven billion euros every year (!!) even though they only produce 2% of the world's cotton. We had letters addressed to each of the four Welsh MEPs, to encourage them to vote against continuing this subsidy. Meanwhile, cotton growers in West Africa can actually produce their cotton more cheaply, but cannot compete with the subsidised cotton from the EU and the United States. One lady took a whole bunch of these letters to pass around her ladies' group! Another lady praised the Co-op for their labelling after having done a fact-finding mission with her local WI.
It was also encouraging to find that almost all of the children who stopped at the stall said they either belonged to a Fairtrade school, or had recently done a Fairtrade project at school or with the Scouts. Three teachers took leaflets to find out more about their school becoming a Fairtrade school, too.
In fact, the majority of people who stopped to chat already knew about Fairtrade and tried to buy Fairtrade products, though there were still plenty who didn't know that the label went much beyond coffee, chocolate and bananas.
And as you can see from the picture above, it wasn't just humans who were interested in Fairtrade. Here are some local gnomes receiving their Fairtrade stickers!