2015 is a big year for international development. The UN's targets for addressing food, water and education poverty – known as the Millennium Development Goals - are being replaced this year, followed by the world climate talks in Paris in November. This provides a once in a generation opportunity to deal with extreme poverty, gender based violence, and poor sanitation all over the world. The push is not simply for donations in aid, but for trade agreements that give developing countries a fairer deal than ever before. There are also moves to create an international tax body which would ensure corporations pay fair taxes in developing countries, here in the UK and throughout the rest of the world.
Having recently returned from Ethiopia as part of a European delegation to see what still needs to be done, I am hoping to make Halifax a part of this movement. I am looking to start a Fairtrade group in Halifax, with a view to us becoming a Fairtrade town. I hope that we can play our part in lifting some of the world’s poorest out of poverty, whilst boosting our local economy by offering customers some fantastic Fairtrade produce. Several of our neighbouring towns in the Calder Valley have very successful Fairtrade campaigns and I am looking to do the same here with an initial meeting scheduled for October, so please do contact my office if you would like to get involved.