Limerick primary and secondary school pupils are sending a special Christmas message to highlight fair trading practices between Ireland and developing countries.
They have created a series of Christmas cards to mark the 12th anniversary of Fairtrade Limerick, which was established to ensures that producers in developing countries receive a fair price for their products.
Cards were created by pupils of all ages, ranging from five up to 17 and involved schools across the city and county, illustrating what Fairtrade means to them.
They will have their cards reproduced and sent to a variety of local businesses, shops and cafes that have supported the Fairtrade initiative throughout 2017.
Limerick city was awarded status as a Fairtrade City in 2005 as a result of the concerted efforts by local people to ensure that Fairtrade produce was made widely available.
It shows Limerick city’s commitment to supporting a fairer trading system with developing countries.
Under the Fairtrade initiative, a minimum price is set between producer and purchaser to ensure the producers are guaranteed a sustainable business. However, if the market price is higher than this minimum price set, then the purchaser must pay the market price.
Limerick City Fairtrade Committee Chairwoman Dolores O’Meara said that global Fairtrade sales totalled €7.88 billion in 2016 – an increase on the previous year. Farmers and workers received €150 million in Fairtrade Premiums, an extra payment which is spent on the development of their communities.”
“However, we cannot be complacent. Fairtrade works with more than 1.6 million farmers and workers around the globe who face many challenges – the impact of climate change being one of them.”
“It is estimated that up to 60% of the sugar cane harvest has been lost in Cuba and there is been an estimated damage of 30% of Fairtrade banana production, equivalent to 4,000 hectares of land, in the Dominican Republic. Cocoa crops and coffee crops have been damaged by the high winds, rain and landslides.”
“Many farmers have seen their crops and land destroyed. They depend on us, the consumers, to help them recover. We must make a conscious effort to add some Fairtrade items to the Christmas shopping basket and I’m delighted that the young people of Limerick are very civic minded and know what Fairtrade is. It is important that we continue.”
The overall winners of the Christmas Card competition were:
Izzy Duggan, Scoil an Spioraid Naoimh, Roxborough
Michelle Kelly, Thomond Community College, Moylish
Further information on how the Fairtrade programme operates is available at www.fairtrade.ie.