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

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 9:49 am on 18th December 2018.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health) 9:49 am, 18th December 2018

I wholeheartedly agree. The hon. Gentleman brings wisdom and knowledge to this type of debate—to every debate, but to this one in particular. I thank him for that.

Unfortunately, that school of thinking has been somewhat lost, as some of the big companies look to the dividends of their shareholders and do not concern themselves with how suppliers lower the bottom line to meet their profit margin need. It is good that some companies have realised that they have to adhere to a moral compass. That is why Fairtrade and Traidcraft exist. I thank everyone who works in those wonderful organisations and takes part in what they do.

I am given to understand that there has to be a cut in staff numbers. That is unfortunate, and I encourage the venture to hold fast and keep doing good. There is a verse in scripture that always encouraged me: it says that we should not be weary in doing good, for we shall reap what we diligently sow. It is my belief that there are countless families in communities throughout the world who are reaping the benefits of what these organisations sow in fairness, respect, hard work and honesty.

Before making this contribution, I was thinking of the advert on TV for Fairtrade coffee, which tells the story of the young boys in the fields. If they were not doing that farming and that work, the alternative would be to go into criminal activity. By buying Fairtrade and Traidcraft goods, we enable people in other parts of the world to gain a wage, to have families and to grow, and we also keep them away from criminality.