Fair deal is a life-changer

Fairtrade event
Fairtrade event

A textile worker from Mauritius has told youngsters about the benefits of supporting fairtrade and the difference that it made to her life.

Pamela L’Intelligent spoke to the children as part of a range of events to celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight, which is running from Monday, February 23 to Sunday, March 8.

The 44-year-old textile worker has been working in the industry in Mauritius since she was 13. She has a 19-year-old daughter, and is now working for Craft Aid, a fair trade company which employs disadvantaged workers in Mauritius.

Chair of East Dunbartonshire Council Fairtrade Group, Angela Oakley, said: “Pamela worked in a really abusive textile factory and had to work from 7am until thousands of garments were finished.

“She had no family life because of this. Now she works in a fairtrade factory where they finish at 5pm every night, so she has time to spend with her daughter.”

Angela said that East Dunbartonshire was recently re-awarded with a Fairtrade Zone certificate, first granted to the area in 2007.

She added: “We’ve been conscious of fairtrade for longer than anywhere else in the area and it makes us quite unique.”

Fairtrade certified farmer groups receive an additional amount of money, on top of the price, known as a Fairtrade Premium. The Premium allows communities to develop projects such as building roads and hospitals.

Fairtrade cocoa producer from the Dominican Republic, Basilio Almonte, also spoke at Cadder South Parish Church on Saturday, February 28, about the impact fairtrade has had on his life as a cocoa farmer.

Meanwhile, Lenzie Fairtrade Group is hosting a ‘bake off’ in Lenzie Union Church Hall this Saturday, March 7, at 10 am. Contestants will face a judging panel, led by Fiona McLeod MSP, and will be critiqued on how well they use fairtrade ingredients.

Martin Rhodes, director of the Scottish Fair Trade Forum, said: “It’s wonderful to have so many Fairtrade Fortnight events like this going on across Scotland, and it shows the depth of support for producers like Pamela in our Fair Trade Nation.”