Richard Howitt hopes Ely can become fairest trading city in Europe as he launches Fair Trade Fortnight

Labour MEP Richard Howitt.

Labour MEP Richard Howitt. - Credit: Archant

Richard Howitt MEP is challenging Cambridgeshire to become more fair trade-friendly - and has backed Ely to become the fairest and ethical trading city in Europe.

Mr Howitt, Member of the European Parliament for the East of England, has encouraged shoppers in the region to consider buying more fair trade items at the launch of ‘Fair Trade Fortnight’ in Ely.

He said: “The aim of Fair Trade Fortnight is to challenge shoppers in Cambridgeshire to take a positive step in the right direction by thinking about what they can do every day to make a difference to the lives of people in the developing world who produce the products they buy.

“Europe has led on the creation of Fair Trade towns across my constituency with European funding so local people, in places like right here in Ely, can shop ethically.”

Mr Howitt also revealed how a new European ‘Trade for All’ policy will create a competition to find the most fair and ethical trading city in Europe by working with local councils to promote more Fair Trade goods, and the MEP is hoping Ely may scoop the prize.

A Fair Trade product is one that is produced ethically and guarantees that craftsmen or farmers are paid a fair price for their product and work in safe conditions. There are more than 4,500 Fair Trade products in the UK and the Fair Trade economy is worth more than £1.5 billion.

The Labour Euro MP for Ely is set to carry on his Fair Trade push by visiting Artes Mundi Fair Trade Gifts and meeting with its owner, Mark Hugo, tomorrow.