Fairtrade and local produce served up at 'Big Breakfast'

Arundel & South Downs MP Nick Herbert was at Pulborough Village Hall on Saturday morning (28 February) to enjoy a breakfast of Fairtrade and locally produced food.

The event was organised by the Pulborough Fairtrade Group to coincide with Fairtrade Fortnight which runs nationally from 28 February to 8 March.

Visitors to the ‘Big Breakfast' event were able to choose from the ‘full English' option of sausages, bacon, eggs and mushrooms or a lighter option consisting of fruit juice, muesli, toast and preserves.

Many of the products served up for breakfast, sourced either from local farms or Fairtrade producers overseas, were also available to buy at the Village Market which was held in an adjacent hall.

Fairtrade labels appear on products, such as tea, coffee, sugar and bananas, as an independent guarantee that disadvantaged producers in the developing world are getting a better deal. 

Producers receive a minimum price that covers the cost of sustainable production and an extra premium that is invested in social, economic or environmental development projects.  The minimum price also acts as a safety net for farmers at times when world markets fall below a sustainable level.

In 2007, Pulborough was the first village in West Sussex to be granted Fairtrade status for its work in promoting these products.

Chairman of Pulborough Fairtrade Group Gerald Batt commented: "The Big Breakfast was a great success, with around 130 people turning up.  It was really good to see Nick, who seemed to enjoy his Full English breakfast.  After breakfast, he spent a long time chatting to people and was especially keen to find out about the local produce on the menu.  He also showed a genuine interest in the Fairtrade movement and our support for it."

Nick Herbert commented: "I was delighted to support the event and enjoyed an excellent breakfast!  What I really liked was the mix of high quality local produce together with food from developing countries where the producers are guaranteed a fair price.  That really is the best of both worlds.  If we can support our local farmers by buying food that can be grown at home, while also supporting producers in developing countries for the food we need to import, then we are doing the right thing twice over."

Mr Herbert added: "Pulborough was the first Fairtrade village in West Sussex, and I congratulate the organisers on their hard work in promoting another sell-out breakfast event to help promote Fairtrade Fortnight."



Notes for Editors

1. The event was held in the Rother Room, Pulborough Village Hall, Swan View, Lower Street, Pulborough, West Sussex RH20 2BF from 9am to 11am on Saturday 28 February.

2. For further information on the Fairtrade system, visit http://www.fairtrade.org.uk/.

3. In the past ten years, retail sales of Fairtrade products in the UK have soared from £16.7 million in 1998 to £493 million in 2007. The actual volume of Fairtrade products sold in the UK more than doubled between 2006 and 2007 and represented a 72 per cent increase in retail value.

4. According to the Fairtrade Foundation, consumers worldwide spent £1.6 billion on Fairtrade certified products in 2007, benefiting over 7 million farmers, workers and their families in 58 developing countries.

Christopher N Howarth