The efforts by Mayo’s Fairtrade towns have helped secure Government funding of €15 million to support farmers in East Africa, according to Minister for Foreign Affairs, Micheál Martin TD.
“Castlebar and Westport have secured Fairtrade status, making Mayo one of the most successful parts of the country in securing the title. It is clear that people in Mayo want farmers in the developing world get a proper price for their produce,” the Minister stated.
In order to recognise the clear public support there is throughout Mayo and the country for the Fairtrade campaign, the Government has committed funding to support almost half a million families in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia.
Through Irish aid the Government is providing €15 million in support over the next four years. The new funding will ensure that Ireland remains the top provider of financial support to the international Fairtrade network.
“Ireland has taken a strong international lead on this issue and is regarded as an example to other countries,” continued Minister Martin.
“It is clear from the support for Fairtrade products in shops and supermarkets, as well as the projects undertaken by community groups and schools, that Mayo people want farmers in Africa, Asia and the Americas to receive a fair price for their efforts.
“The Government is keen to support the efforts of Mayo communities and the funding we are making available will help farmers in East Africa to secure a fair deal. It will also ensure that they can take advantage of the growing international market for Fairtrade goods.
“Castlebar and Westport are already Fairtrade towns, I would encourage other towns, villages and parishes to look at achieving the Fairtrade status, whereby local businesses would sell products and the local community would become involved by increasing awareness about the real difference buying such goods can make to families in the developing world,” concluded Minister Martin.