Fairtrade Fortnight runs until 11 March. Our Co-op Party members have been busy supporting the campaign and events across Kent, with the Dartford branch collecting signatures for a petition and the Dover & Deal branch donating Fairtrade footballs to schools.
Co-op Party members have been out campaigning against legal loan sharks across Kent, including at the Kent Miners Festival at Aylesham near Canterbury. The festival is in its fourth year and saw a mix of brass bands, miners heritage, stalls and more.
We are campaigning to cut the use of plastic bags and as part of the campaign we are urging people to sign an e-petition
The Kent Co-op Party has been encouranging shoppers to cut down on the use of plastic bags. The idea was to hand out free Fairtrade cotton bags to shoppers as an alternative to plastic. Dartford and Gravesend members were on hand at the New Ash Green Co-op store with the cotton bags and Fairtrade literature. The Dover & Deal branch were out on two mornings, one at the Co-op store in Dover’s Stembrook and the other at the Co-op in Beauchamp Avenue, Deal. Pictured are members of the branch who managed to give away 100 cotton bags in Deal in a little over an hour, plus Amber Bytheway, a teenager promoting the campaign against plastic bags.
It was announced last week that the Royal Bank of Scotland, which also owns NatWest and is 83% owned by the taxpayer, announced bonuses of £800 million despite losses amounting to £2 billion. Meanwhile their score of minus 13 on Yougov’s consumer confidence index means RBS remains the least popular bank in the country.
It is expected that Lloyds and HSBC will also be announcing their business-as-usual bonuses. Whether it’s on ethical or consumer grounds, they score poorly.
These are the banks whose reckless actions brought us to the economic situation we now face, but still the big five high street banks have a 90% market share in the UK.
Whatever the anger from the British public or the warm words from the Tory-led government there has been no significant banking reform as yet. Northern Rock was not re-mutualised. Bonuses continue to be paid.
The Move Your Money campaign, backed by the co-operative movement, is asking consumers to leave the high street banks and move their money to ethical banks like the Co-op Bank or to mutual providers like credit unions and building societies.
Fairtrade Fortnight has begun !
It has been reported that sales of Fairtrade products reached £1.32 billion in 2011, which was a 12% increase on 2010. Co-op Party members across Kent are campaigning to get the Fairtrade message across and are encouraging people to take a ‘step’ for Fairtrade.
Four out of ten bags of sugar, a third of all bananas and one in four packs of roast and ground coffee sold in this country are Fairtrade.
The theme for this year’s fortnight is Take A Step, encouraging shoppers to try one new product. Find out more at http://step.fairtrade.org.uk/