Four years on from the original campaign and there is still the need to raise awareness. “The price of cotton has slumped in the last 30 years, even though the cost of producing it has risen and that means farmers in places like India, Kyrgyzstan and West Africa are struggling to survive. As many as 100 million households are directly engaged in cotton production and an estimated 300 million people work in the cotton sector when family labour, farm labour and workers in ancillary services such as transportation, ginning, baling and storage are taken into account. For farmers, the challenges range from the impact of climate change, poor prices for seed cotton, through to competition from highly subsidised producers in rich countries and poor terms of trade. In particular, government subsidies for cotton farmers in rich countries, particularly the US, create a market with artificially low prices that small-scale farmers are unable to compete in.” The Fairtrade Foundation (see full article: http://www.fairtrade.org.uk/en/farmers-and-workers/cotton)
Fairtrade provides a lifeline to farmers ensuring that they are paid a guaranteed minimum price for their cotton crop which has been calculated to cover the sustainable costs of production. They also receive additional money, the Fairtrade premium, to invest in community projects. Fairtrade is an effective development tool in that it gives small-scale farmers access to global markets as well as helping them to work their way out of poverty. Buying or producing a product made from Fairtrade certified cotton contributes to fighting poverty and to sustainable development for some of the world's most marginalised cotton farmers.
“There's no difference in quality between Fairtrade cotton and normal cotton. The real difference is that the person at the very bottom of the textile supply chain who has grown the cotton has been paid a fair price for his crop. It is not the finished fabric or item of clothing but cotton itself which is Fairtrade certified.” Taken from www.KoolSkools.co.uk
So, will you ‘Cotton on to Fairtrade’ and bag a celebrity?
To be in with a chance of winning a bag you have to have a ticket, so follow Holme Valley Fairtrade on facebook and twitter to discover where the exhibition will be in the run up to the final event! ‘Cotton on To Fairtrade’ will tour around the Holme Valley until Fairtrade Fortnight 2016. On Thursday March 3rd 2016 the bags will finally find new homes in the ‘Grand Cotton on to Fairtrade Raffle!’ at The Huntsman Inn, Holmfirth.
If you live/work in the Holme Valley and would like to host the ‘Cotton on to Fairtrade’ exhibition and sell raffle tickets please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
List of celebrity signed bags:
Alan Bennett , Annie Lennox, Ashley Jackson, Brian Murphy, Burt Kwouk OBE, Caroline Lucas MP, Corrine Bailey Rae, David Cameron MP, Doctor Simpo, Fearne Cotton, George Alagiah OBE, Geoffrey Boycott, Harriet Lamb, Hilary Benn M, Huddersfield Giants Rugby Club, Huddersfield Town AFC, Ian McMillan, Jane Freeman, Jason McCartney MP, Jean Alexander, Joan Armatrading MBE, Jean Fergusson, Joanna Lumley OBE, Julie Stewart-Turner, Linda McAvan MEP, Lucy Siegle, Marillion, Marina Lewycka, Mike Gidney, Sir Patrick Stewart OBE, Rowan Williams, Roy Clarke OBE, Russ Abbot, Safia Minney MBE, Sam Ubhi, Sian Lloyd, Simon Armitage CBE, Sir Steve Redgrave CBE, Shobna Gulati, and Thelma Barlow.
Bags also signed by the following Fairtrade producers and local churches: Alex Yeboah-Afari – Fairtrade Africa, Anna Michael – Tanzanian Fairtrade Coffee Farmer, D. Chibonga – Fairtrade Nut Farmer (NASFAM), Merling Prezza – Nicaraguan Fairtrade Coffee Farmer, Wettaka Jenipher – Ugandan Coffee Farmer, Holmfirth Methodist Church Members and Meltham Methodist Church Members.
To see the photo gallery (coming soon!) of the exhibition please visit our facebook page: www.facebook.com/holmevalleyfairtrade