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Last Updated: Monday, 1 March, 2004, 12:07 GMT
Cardiff is first Fairtrade capital
Cardiff's shopping centre
The Capitol shopping centre is in the heart of Cardiff
Cardiff has won the race to become the world's first Fairtrade capital.

The St David's Day announcement means the city's cafés, shops, businesses, schools and supermarkets have given a commitment to stocking goods offering Third World farmers a better deal.

It comes at the start of Fairtrade Fortnight celebrating 10 years of the official trademark awarded to products meeting internationally- recognised standards.

Cardiff beat Edinburgh to the title after demonstrating that many places in the city stocked Fairtrade goods.

The products are also very delicious, so people are happy to enjoy them knowing that they are making a difference to the other side of the world
Harriet Lamb, Fairtrade Foundation

Cardiff Council said it was "no mean achievement", as it was more difficult for an area with a large population.

Most of the city's secondary schools carry Fairtrade products, and the local authority serves the trademark tea and coffee in its canteens and offices and at meetings.

Liz Lambert, Cardiff's Council's sustainable development officer, said: "There's great consumer demand within Cardiff for Fairtrade goods.

"We wanted to attain the status to show how much support there was for Fairtrade within Cardiff. Because the council is using Fairtrade goods it will increase the amount of goods coming into Cardiff.

Many shops stock a variety of Fairtrade products
"But also there's the grate benefits of doing something positive in the Third World."

More than 100 products carry the Fairtrade mark, and campaigners argue that by buying them the income of some of the world's poorest people can be greatly increased.

Harriet Lamb, executive director of the foundation, said: "We find that people just love the idea of Fairtrade, and it makes complete sense to them that poor farmers and workers in developing countries should get a fair deal.

"Obviously the products are also very delicious, so people are happy to enjoy them knowing that they are making a difference to the other side of the world."

Ms Lamb said Fairtrade goods were a little more expensive to give farmers in the Third World enough to cover their costs and invest in their future.

But she said the price was coming down all the time, and the extra money made all the difference to producers.

"The price they get in Fairtrade can be as much as twice or even three times more that they are getting on the free market," said Ms Lamb.

"That means they get enough money to stay on the land, to go on farming and to invest in the future. It means they can survive as farmers."

Cardiff will host events including promotions and food-tasting as part of a UK-wide Fairtrade fortnight, which starts on Monday.

A recent report found that the market for Fairtrade products in Britain is worth almost £100m a year.

One of the first products to carry the Fairtrade logo in the UK was coffee, and now 18% of the UK's roast and ground coffee market is made up of Fairtrade brands.

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