West Sussex meals on wheels delivery drivers have a little something extra special to deliver as part of their rounds this month.
All customers of West Sussex County Council’s meals on wheels service, delivered by apetito, will receive a complimentary Fairtrade hot chocolate as the county council helps to mark Fairtrade Fortnight.
Running until Sunday, 10 March, the Fairtrade Foundation calls upon companies and organisations across the country to celebrate the people who grow the food that fills our supermarket shelves.
This year’s fortnight is focusing directly on those people - and predominantly the women - who grow that most coveted of bean, the cocoa bean.
Figures from the foundation suggest that cocoa farmers in West Africa need to earn at least £1.86 each day in order to sustain a living income.
But according to the foundation, many farmers are struggling to get by on just 74p a day, resulting in a life of poverty. The majority of the world’s crop is grown in West Africa, with Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana accounting for nearly 60 per cent of the global production.
Last year West Sussex County Council was awarded the honorary status of being a Fairtrade county.
By making Fairtrade products available in all its schools and staff restaurants, and by providing educational packs in the community, the county has been busy showing its commitment to fair and ethical trading.
The county council also works with the local Fairtrade steering group to promote Fairtrade amongst local businesses and organisations including shops and cafes.
Paul McKay, the county council’s director of adults’ services, said: “The county council takes its commitment to Fairtrade very seriously, so I am delighted that our Meals on Wheels partner, apetito, is able to help us spread the word about the importance of Fairtrade to some of the county’s older residents.”
Sarah Ayres, apetito services centre manager, said: “apetito is the only food company in the UK’s health and social care sector to become a foundation member of the ethical trading initiative and have adopted the ETI base code – an internationally recognised code of labour practice.
“When we buy from carefully selected suppliers abroad, we make sure this is done fairly, with the wellbeing of international workers in mind.
“We support the British food and farming industry by buying from British and Irish sources whenever we can – always provided it represents the best value for our customers.
“We believe in making a real difference and ultimately operating in a way that respects people, the environment and the wider community is essential in making this possible.”
For more information about meals on wheels visit the county council’s website.