Burgess Hill Fairtrade took to the streets to hand out various types of products.
On March 9 members went to Present Company in the Marketplace Shopping Centre to give away Fairtrade Chocolate.
Burgess Hill Fairtrade chair, Robert Eggleston said: “Many farmers in the cocoa industry – both men and women – are underpaid and exploited.”
This event was part of Fairtrade Fortnight, an annual event that takes place across the UK.
This year the focus was on the plight of cocoa farmers in the Cote d’ivoire.
That means that they can’t earn enough for the basics necessities many of us take for granted, including food, education and housing.
A living income is a fundamental goal for Fairtrade, and nowhere is this need more clear than in the cocoa industry.
Europe is the world’s biggest importer of cocoa. Seventy percent of that cocoa is produced in West Africa, and 43 percent of worldwide output comes from the Côte d’Ivoire.
In the country one in six of the population is employed in the cocoa sector and a shocking 60 per cent of all cocoa farmers live below the poverty line.
Fairtrade is the only certifier to provide a safety net of a minimum price for farmers in times of global price decline plus a premium.
Any extra amount of money goes direct to farmers to invest in business or community projects of their choice in their own communities.
Chocolate is about enjoyment and indulgence, but it should also be produced at a fair price.
This is why the company chose to give away chocolate to highlight the need for change.