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Farmers tell how Fairtrade improved their lives
HUNDREDS of people turned out to an event at the York Fairtrade festival, which is now in full swing.
Members of the Palestinian farmers’ co-operative Zaytoun visited the festival with olive farmers Manal Abdallah and Abu Rafat Odeh to talk about how Fairtrade has made a difference to their livelihoods.
Richard Lane, one of the organisers with the York Fair Trade Forum, said: “The event was very well attended.
They spoke to a packed room, talking us through pictures of 2,000-year-old olive trees and farming life in Palestine.
“Fairtrade has made a huge difference to them – all exports from Palestine have to go through checks and transfers imposed by Israel, which rendered it almost impossible to export until Fairtrade came along.
“Now they can not only export olives and olive oil, but couscous, sun-dried tomatoes and other foodstuffs.
“These are often produced by the women of a family, which improves their standing and also brings in a second source of income.”
The festival runs until March 9, and demonstrates the commitment to Fairtrade that had earned York the status of a Fairtrade City. It features events taking place across York from Copmanthorpe to Dunnington, with offers and promotions from Fairtrade retailers and cafés.
The festival ends with the Fairtrade market in Parliament Street on Friday, March 8 and Saturday, March 9, from 9.30am to 4.30pm.
Fairtrade food, drink, clothing, gifts and crafts will be available, and the Fair Trade Forum will be running craft workshops for all ages on the Saturday.
Programmes for remaining festival events are available online at fairtradeyork.com