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Honduran Fairtrade Officer to meet local schoolchildren

08 March 2018

Local schoolchildren will have the chance to pose their questions to a Honduran Fairtrade Officer this Friday March 9th as part of a special event at the Eden Place Arts Centre in Pilot’s Row to mark Fairtrade Fortnight.

Fairtrade Fortnight is running from February 26th until March 11th 2018 and aims to promote and encourage the fair payment of food growing farmers and workers throughout the world.

The Fairtrade initiative was established to ensure developing world farmers are provided a guaranteed minimum price that covers sustainable production and the ability to trade in global markets without exploitation.
The special guest at Friday’s event, which will also include an arts workshop, is Roberto Arturo Lopez who is employed by COAGRICSAL as Sustainability Program Manager. 
Roberto is currently working to improve the quality of life of the members of the cooperative and involving the women and young members in management and technological development to drive better farming and reduce contamination.
Roberto works on spreading the importance of Fairtrade and the benefits of being certified, as well the positive impact that it has on development in Honduras. 
As Certification Program Manager, Roberto worked with each member of the co-op and recorded the work the Fairtrade premium helped them achieve. He also works to ensure the education, health and economic development of the co-op members.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Maolíosa McHugh, said the event was a useful opportunity to engage with young people about the principles of Fair Trade.

“This event represents an ideal way to engage with young people and educate them on the Fairtrade values in a relaxed and fun environment,” he said.
“Roberto does crucial work on the ground to ensure that workers’ welfare and the Fairtrade principles are protected so that the food we receive from Honduras is ethically sourced. 
“I hope the primary and secondary school pupils in attendance will find his story inspirational and I would encourage the public to make a particular effort to purchase products that are Fairtrade certified to help end the exploitation of farmers and workers throughout the world.”   
Donna McFeely from Foyle Fairtrade added: “We are delighted to welcome Roberto Arturo Lopez to our wonderful, Fairtrade City and District. 

“Fairtrade is a practical way of showing solidarity to the farmers and producers who grow and harvest our food, cotton, tea, coffee and flowers.

“It gives us an opportunity to choose products that are made ethically and that serve people and our planet.”

The legacy Derry City Council was awarded Fair Trade status in March 2014 and, in 2015, elected representatives passed a resolution to demonstrate Council’s support for a campaign to achieve Fairtrade status for the entire Derry City and Strabane District Council area which was achieved in 2017.

Council are part of the Foyle Fairtrade Steering Group that promotes Fairtrade and endeavours to achieve the status for the whole council area.

Further information on Fairtrade Fortnight is available online at www.fairtrade.ie  and www.fairtrade.org.uk e mail [email protected] or contacting the Environmental Health Service at Derry City and Strabane District Council on 028 71 253253.