DFID believes that people can never escape poverty without the opportunity to produce and trade freely. By promoting open markets and a strong framework for international trade, we are helping to support fair market access for poor people. We aim to double the number of fair trade certified producers to 2.2 million by the end of 2013, and to improve working conditions in global supply chains.
That is an essential objective for the entire Department. International progress towards the conclusion that we would like to see is proving somewhat difficult, but we will continue our great effort to try to secure an improved trading environment for the world.
We do indeed need more fair trade projects in developing countries, but that also relies on people buying more fair trade products here. Will the Minister commend and wish well the campaign to make Yorkshire and the Humber the first UK fair trade region?
We strongly support objectives of that sort. There are many towns across the country that have secured fair trade status. The Department and I—and, I hope, all of us—are enthusiastic supporters of fair trade, which is not just a notion but a sensible and practical approach to supply chains that ensures that some of the poorest people in the world can benefit from their hard work.