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Fair Trade Projects

Volume 534: debated on Wednesday 26 October 2011

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.

I thank the Minister for his response. What steps is he taking to ensure that the Doha round of talks is completed and that a fair deal on trade will be achieved for developing countries?

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.

What steps is the Secretary of State taking to ensure that fair trade best practice is reflected in the Government’s public procurement policy?

We optimise as far as possible everything that DFID and the Government buy, so that the fair trade label appears wherever it possibly can within government. That remains our objective in all that we do.

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.