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Kiwis urged to have a Fairtrade cuppa to give farmers a fair go

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Kiwis urged to have a Fairtrade cuppa to give farmers a fair go

Kiwis across the country are poised to put the jug on for Oxfam’s Biggest Coffee Break, part of Fair Trade Fortnight, May 4 -19, New Zealand’s largest annual fair trade celebration.

Thousands of tea, coffee and chocolate lovers from Kaitaia to Bluff will take part in Oxfam Coffee Breaks in homes, schools, communities and workplaces, helping farmers in the developing world - who grow the foods we love - work their way out of poverty.

Each Oxfam Coffee Break host is sent free Fairtrade Whittaker’s chocolate, Caffe L’affare coffee, Scarborough Fair tea, Kokako drinking chocolate and Health Pak sugar, along with materials to introduce their guests to the benefits of fair trade.

Barry Coates, Executive Director of Oxfam New Zealand, said, "Kiwis believe in giving people a fair go. That’s really coming through with the massive growth in sales of fair trade products and the success of Oxfam’s Biggest Coffee Break. We encourage everyone to host an Oxfam Coffee Break - it’s a fun way to be part of the solution to global poverty. Your fair choices make a big difference."

Millions of farmers in developing countries are dependent on the coffee, tea and cocoa industries. Buying fair trade products is a way that shoppers can ensure growers not only get a fair price for their crops, but also decent working conditions and much-needed investment in local community developments like clean water systems and schools.

The funds raised from Oxfam’s Biggest Coffee Break will enable people to have safe water and sanitation, build sustainable incomes, provide an education and healthcare for their families, and live a life free from violence and persecution.

One of the farmers that Oxfam works with in East Timor is Cornell de Concicao, Coordinator of the Manelobas coffee co-op, who said: "Our lives are better than before. In the past we ate only corn and cassava, but now we have a more diverse diet. I’d like to finish building my house and support my children to go to school - I want my daughters to finish their studies."

New Zealand continues to be one of the world's fastest growing markets for Fairtrade certified products, with sales almost tripling since 2009 to $52.6 million in 2013.

A wide range of Fairtrade products are now available in New Zealand, from ice-blocks and soft drinks to clothing, bananas and sports balls.

People can still sign up to host an Oxfam Coffee Break at www.oxfamcoffeebreak.org.nz anytime through Fair Trade Fortnight.

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