Traidcraft and Fair Trade — [Mr Philip Hollobone in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 9:30 am on 18th December 2018.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Liz Twist Liz Twist Labour, Blaydon 9:30 am, 18th December 2018

I thank the hon. Gentleman, and I agree with him on all those points. One of the important things about Traidcraft has been that personal connection through the “meet the producers” tours, and being able to see in the catalogue who produces the goods. We must never forget the impact on individuals of the work of Traidcraft and other fair trade organisations. I hope that the Minister will reassure us that DFID will play its part in continuing that work.

The UK has a strong record of using its aid programme to support business development. The Government should continue their development work in that area and re-emphasise the inclusive approach that we have talked about within that, through a clear gender focus and support for small and medium-sized enterprises, ensuring that the trade and business environment enables them to voice their needs and to thrive.

As Traidcraft goes forward, it will look to offer consumers even greater transparency. As part of the review of the Modern Slavery Act 2015, the Government should update the official guidance to encourage companies to publish where they buy their goods from and the wages of their supply chain workers. The Government should consider legislation to make human rights due diligence mandatory, so that we can have that transparency and see exactly what is being done.

Finally, Parliament is considering the Agriculture Bill, which is perhaps not in the Minister’s immediate purview, although I am sure that he can have some input.