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Contingency Reserve

Volume 400: debated on Wednesday 26 February 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what her Department's Contingency Reserve was (a) in pounds sterling and (b) as a percentage of the annual DFID budget for each year from May 1997. [99315]

The size of DFIDs Contingency Reserve for each year since 1997 was:raise consumer awareness of development issues in international trade as well as highlighting ways in which consumers can act to make a difference.In addition, DFID has provided £168,930 over three years (from 1999 to 2002) in support of Fairtrade Foundation's year round media work, helping it to raise awareness of the "FT mark" and what it stands for.

Last year DFID also approved a project (at a total cost of £300,000) designed to address a recognised bottleneck within Fair Trade—namely the limited number of products for which international Fair Trade standards exist. The project aims to develop new Fair Trade product standards, secure the registration of new producer groups and help bring additional Fair Trade products to supermarket shelves over the next 2 years. The target is to increase the retail value of Fair Trade sales in the UK to over 100m per annum by 2004 and by so doing extend the benefits of Fair Trade to a greater number of producers in developing countries. By expanding the scale of Fair Trade activities, the project also aims to secure a sustainable future for the Fairtrade Foundation, so that its core operational costs (including the cost of subsequent promotional activities) can be fully funded from the income it receives from licensees.

Owing to travel commitments, I am unable to attend the launch of the Fairtrade Fortnight this year. However, the Fairtrade Foundation has invited the Chancellor of the Exchequer.