Big Brew events will be taking place across the county to mark Fairtrade Fortnight, which starts on Monday.
The Rutland Fairtrade Steering Group is behind the local events, where Fairtrade tea, coffee and soft drinks will be served together with cakes made with Fairtrade ingredients. Fairtrade products may be on sale and short videos shown illustrating the importance of fair trade to everyone.
Visitors would be made most welcome to any of the following events:
l Oakham - Methodist Church, Northgate, Saturday February 28, 10am to midday.
l Uppingham – Parish Church, Saturday February 28, 11am to 12.30pm
l Empingham - Methodist Church, Monday March 2, 2pm to 4pm.
l Whissendine – 25 The Nook, Wednesday February 25, 10am to midday.
The Big Brew events are part of a national initiative by Traidcraft, the UK’s leading Fairtrade organisation to raise funds to extend their pioneering work to make Fairtrade available to more producers.
The Government will match all funds raised for the “Fair Necessities” appeal, which offers training, skills and investment to smallholder farmers - doubling the total raised.
On Wednesday, February 18, staff at Change Agents will be tempting early morning commuters at Oakham railway station with delicious cakes to go with their Fairtrade drinks.
On Saturday, February 28, from 10am to midday there will be a demonstration of one of the most important benefits Fairtrade brings to some farming communities in the developing world – clean water.
Outside All Saints Church in Oakham the steering group plans to set up a hand water pump to draw people’s attention to the fact that many farmers in developing countries do not have access to safe drinking water.
Some farming communities who are able to trade through the Fairtrade system have used the Fairtrade premium to sink tube wells and have clean water for the first time.
People will be invited to try the pump – and try carrying five gallons of water!
Richard Baggott, of the Rutland Fairtrade Steering Group, encouraged people in Rutland to show the same support as in previous years.
He said: “We appreciate all the goo things that we have to eat week by week but so many of the things that are produced for us are provided by people who don’t get a living wage. It’s important we do all we can to support them and supporting Fairtrade is one way we can do that.”