Fairtrade International has been in touch with Fair Trade organisations in Palestine to express concern at the distressing situation in Gaza which has left over a thousand dead and many thousands injured.
Canaan Fair Trade, a Fair Trade producer organisation situated in the West Bank, describes what is happening to relatives and friends in Gaza as ‘heart-rending’. The farmers of Canaan Fair Trade cultivate olives on the West Bank – and like all Fairtrade farmer organizations in the area – they continue to be dramatically affected by the instability of the situation
“There is little that we can do, however, other than move popular pressure towards an end to the violence and breaking the siege on the people of Gaza,” said a spokesperson for Canaan Fair Trade. “We just pray and hope that this dreadful cycle of violence will end soon and thank our international friends for your support and concern.”
Canaan http://www.canaanfairtrade.com/ works with over 1,700 farmers organized into 49 village-based cooperatives, which are members of the Palestine Fair Trade Association (PFTA). Recently, they introduced their Jerusalem Blend Olive Oil in Whole Foods Market in the US (without the international FAIRTRADE Mark at present). In addition, Zaytoun CIC (http://www.zaytoun.org/) distributes olive oil and other products from the PFTA.
“When the first Palestinian Fairtrade products were launched on the international market five years ago, producers told us that Fairtrade was helping them plant hope in Palestine,” says Harriet Lamb, CEO of Fairtrade International. “The production of olives and olive oil is a vital source of livelihood on the fragile and marginal Palestinian lands.”
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Notes to Editors
The Fairtrade Foundation is an independent certification body which licenses the use of the FAIRTRADE Mark on products which meet international Fairtrade standards. This independent consumer label appears on products to show that disadvantaged producers are getting a better deal from trade. Today, more than 1.24 million people – farmers and workers – across more than 60 developing countries benefit from the international Fairtrade system.
Over 4,500 products have been licensed to carry the FAIRTRADE Mark including coffee, tea, herbal teas, chocolate, cocoa, sugar, bananas, grapes, pineapples, mangoes, avocados, apples, pears, plums, grapefruit, lemons, oranges, satsumas, clementines, mandarins, lychees, coconuts, dried fruit, juices, smoothies, biscuits, cakes & snacks, honey, jams & preserves, chutney & sauces, rice, quinoa, herbs & spices, seeds, nuts & nut oil, wines, beers, rum, confectionary, muesli, cereal bars, yoghurt, ice-cream, flowers, sports balls, sugar body scrub and cotton products including clothing, homeware, cloth toys, cotton wool, olive oil, gold, silver and platinum.
Awareness of the FAIRTRADE Mark continues to be high in 2013, at a level of 77%.
Estimated UK retail sales of Fairtrade products in 2013 reached £1.78 billion, a 14% increase on sales of £1.53 billion in 2012.