Our partner Fair Trade Lebanon is hosting its first ever Fairtrade Fortnight – bringing together Fairtrade Lebanese producers, and consumers. Vicky Pauschert from our Communications team and Regional Coordinator Chiraz Shkiri are helping organize the events and adding an international voice to the celebrations.
With the Lebanese Minister of Environment sitting next to me and a camera from a national TV station focussed in on us, I was feeling a little nervous about my speech at the press conference.
But seeing the encouraging, smiling faces of the producers who had travelled so far to get here I found my voice.
The press conference marked the launch of Fair Trade Lebanon’s first ever Fairtrade Fortnight – a massive effort on their part to get the word out about Fairtrade to the city of Beirut and beyond.
It’s a sign of their determination that both a prominent government minister and a member of the French embassy spoke at the conference – and praised their work so far. The event even made it onto national television and local newspapers.
But for me it was the producers who made the event. The farmers spoke to journalists about their struggles, and the support they receive through Fairtrade. Wine farmer Sami Rahmé from les Coteaux d’Héliopolis asked the Environment Minister some tough questions about the government’s lack of support for Lebanese wine producers. That’s Fairtrade at its best – giving farmers the opportunity to make their voices heard.
And this is just the beginning. A massive Fairtrade brunch, a flash mob at a large supermarket and a round table with business and farmers are all still to come.
If you’re in Lebanon or know people who are then come and join us!
Fairtrade breakfasts and brunches around the globe this week for World Fair Trade Day on 12 May. Find out how you can get involved here.