Mayor of London Ken Livingstone was at the City Hall cafe this week to persuade Londoners to try Fairtrade products for free as part of Fairtrade Fortnight 2003.
The Mayor has pledged his support to help make London a Fairtrade city, by working together with the London Fairtrade Foundation. City Hall is already leading the way: the cafe (open to the public) stocks fairly traded tea, coffee, chocolate and cereal bars.
The Mayor hosted a reception for retailers, catering companies, local politicians and international diplomatic representatives. The reception was also attended by Fairtrade Foundation patron George Alagiah, and former Casualty star Claire Goose.
Ken Livingstone said: "If you buy Fairtrade, you can be sure that more of your money is going to struggling farmers than with regular products. I hope Londoners take this cause to heart and put the considerable weight of their retail spending behind the Fairtrade initiative, and help us make London a Fairtrade city."
17 towns and cities in the UK have so far met the criteria to become Fairtrade Towns. Lambeth Council took its first step towards becoming a Fairtrade Town at a Council meeting on 29 January – when full cross-party support was given for a Fairtrade motion tabled by Councillor Stephen Dering. In passing the motion, Lambeth Council committed itself to supporting the Fairtrade Foundation's aims and encouraging the use of Fairtrade products.
The Mayor of Lambeth Cllr June Fewtrell said: "It is about time that we in the Western world recognised that people in developing countries have been exploited for far too long. They should receive the just reward for their labours."
For information on Fairtrade events and the initiative check out the Fairtrade Foundation website: www.fairtrade.org.uk