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PIA Press Release

APFTI leads World Fair Trade Day 2010 in Naga City

by LS Macatangay

Naga City (1 June) -- "Don't just buy, buy just."

Thus states the battle cry of the Advocate of Philippine Fair Trade, Inc. (APFTI) spearheading the celebration of the World Fair Trade Day (WFT) 2010 held here.

APFTI, together with the Bicol BEST Producers, the Metro Naga Development Council and the World Fair Trade Organization-Philippines (WTO-Phils.) led the week-long celebration here to promote people's awareness on responsible buying.

The activity aimed to encourage people to consider the impact of their lifestyles to small producers, their immediate communities and the environment.

Ma. Gemma I. Malapo, APFTI area coordinator, said that the events that organization staged in line with the World Fair Trade Day Celebration are intended to raise the awareness of Bicolanos about the importance of trade fair and their ability to change lives.

"By making small changes, for example buying Fair Trade products, consumers can make a big difference in the lives of our small producers, and most importantly, to our environment," related Malapo.

APFTI believes that by patronizing trade fair products, consumers are assured that small producers get a fair deal, paid proper compensation, and that they are working under safe conditions. Fair trade also secures livelihood. Three million disadvantaged producers from poor communities around the world are benefiting from Fair Trade. Income from Fair Trade helps poor communities to build houses, create new jobs and improve quality of life.

By supporting these locally-made products, consumers are also guaranteed that environment-friendly procedures are carefully taken into consideration.

Ms. Esther Gamboa, APFTI advocacy manager, made mention of their organization's dream to have an empowered community of entrepreneurs fighting poverty and contributing to sustainable development through Fair Trade.

"Fair Trade provides opportunities to disadvantaged Philippine producers, provides fair and equitable working conditions and helps address climate change, whilst generating profits," she said.

Fair trade conserves the environment by continuously harnessing local resources and protecting their source of living. Producers on the other hand, responsibly increase their role as stewards of the environment by ensuring that their production process is not in a way detrimental or causing harm to the environment.

"Scrap and discarded materials are still being used, re-used and recycled. In this manner, we are helping mitigate the effects of climate change by doing our share as responsible consumers and producers," Gamboa added.

The World Fair Trade Day celebration also calls for the transformation in the consumer's buying behaviour and instilling new perspectives among people. (PIA CamSur) [top]

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