Fair Trade

Oral Answers to Questions — House of Commons Commission – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 15th November 2005.

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Photo of Peter Bone Peter Bone Conservative, Wellingborough 2:30 pm, 15th November 2005

What proportion of products served in the refreshment outlets in the House are fair trade products.

Photo of Nick Harvey Nick Harvey Liberal Democrat, North Devon

It is not possible to give a single overall figure in the terms of the hon. Gentleman's question. Eight fair trade products are sold on a permanent basis, and another 10 intermittently. I am pleased to tell the House that all freshly brewed coffee served by the Refreshment Department is fair trade coffee.

Photo of Peter Bone Peter Bone Conservative, Wellingborough

I thank the hon. Gentleman for that reply. Should not we give a lead to the nation over fair trade products, which are very good? Surely the number of fair trade products available in the House is rather paltry, and should not we have a target for the availability of such products?

Photo of Nick Harvey Nick Harvey Liberal Democrat, North Devon

The fair trade product range is limited, and would therefore prevent us from reaching a high percentage. Many customers of the Refreshment Department exercise their choice, of which I am sure the hon. Gentleman would approve, by purchasing other products when fair trade products are available. Twenty-eight per cent. of the department's tea and coffee purchases in 2004–05 were fair trade. As he is aware, hon. Members can choose from a range of teas, and only a minority are currently taking advantage of fair trade products.