Facts on Fairtrade

RE: TRISHA Scott’s letter, April 29. We would like to rectify some factual errors.

Firstly, the Borough of Scarborough (including Whitby and Filey) became a Fairtrade Borough (not Town) through the efforts of the Borough Fairtrade Group. While this group contains at least one member of the Green Party, it is a broad-based body with no affiliation.

Secondly, the Fairtrade Foundation seeks to promote a fair deal for producers in the Third World who have even less ‘clout’ than farmers in this country, who, we are well aware, can also find themselves squeezed by deals with large companies. It does not have any direct ability to ‘ensure that we import so-called Fairtrade sugar’, only to make sure that products carrying the Fairtrade mark give a decent price to the producers.

Thirdly, the York sugar beet processing factory was closed by Associated British Foods in 2007 not because of Fairtrade imports, but because of poor crop yields in Northern England. Other factories were closed around the same time and the remaining four plants now manufacture more sugar than was produced 30 years ago at 17 factories.

Chris Fairchild

Media Officer,

Borough of Scarborough Fairtrade Group

Victoria Road

Scarborough