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Korea hosts Big Fairtrade Breakfast

About 3,000 people enjoyed a Big Fairtrade Breakfast in Seoul this weekend, in a bid to promote fairer prices for food producers in developing countries.

The diners enjoyed food at the Gwanggyo gallery by the Cheonggyecheon on May 12, after about 70,000 people visited the Fairtrade picture exhibition which ran from May 7-13.

It is the third year that the breakfast event has been held in Korea, as part of the international celebrations of World Fairtrade Day, held on the second Saturday of May each year. 
People hold up a banner to celebrate the Big Fairtrade Breakfast on Seoul’s Cheonggyecheon on May 12. (Fairtrade Marketing Organization Korea)
People hold up a banner to celebrate the Big Fairtrade Breakfast on Seoul’s Cheonggyecheon on May 12. (Fairtrade Marketing Organization Korea)

Created by the Fairtrade International, and international Fairtrade organization Max Havelaar, the Big Fairtrade Breakfast is the world’s biggest international Fairtrade event, held in 15 countries on the same day.

Austria, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Martinique, Nicaragua, Poland, Spain, South Africa, Switzerland, and the U.K. also held events, with large public breakfasts in 63 cities including Paris, Madrid, Prague and Cape Town.

The Fairtrade Marketing Organization Korea, a division of Europe-Korea Foundation, organized the event here to raise awareness and funds to support Fairtrade producers in Southeast Asia. Profit from the event will be used to link Fairtrade producers in Southeast Asia with Korean importers to bring more Fairtrade products to Korea.

Fairtrade is an alternative trade scheme that helps to support micro and small-scale producers in developing countries including Asia, Africa, and South America by offering better trade conditions so that they can combat poverty and strengthen their economic sustainability.

Fairtrade aims to ensure fair prices are paid for goods, as well as respecting social, labor and environmental standards.

Project manager at the Fairtrade Marketing Organization Korea Sumi Kim said that the breakfast event was a great opportunity to promote the concept to Korea, as well as produce including muesli, fruit juice, cocoa and raisins.

“Fairtrade is an alternative approach to conventional trade and is based on a partnership between producers and consumers.” she said.

“Fairtrade offers producers a better deal and improved terms of trade. This allows them the opportunity to improve their lives and plan for their future. Fairtrade offers consumers a powerful way to reduce poverty through their everyday shopping.”

The event was supported by LUSH Korea, DoSoccer and Starbucks Coffee Korea which offered Fairtrade coffee to people on the day.

By Kirsty Taylor  (kirstyt@heraldcorp.com)
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