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Last Updated: Monday, 26 July, 2004, 15:37 GMT 16:37 UK
Tackling poverty by text message
coffee harvesting
Fair trade offers coffee producers in the developing world a better deal
Fair trade campaigners are hoping to attract 1m "signatures" after launching a text message petition.

New Consumer magazine is collecting messages urging world leaders to discuss fair trade at the next G8 summit.

Mel Young, Editor-in-chief of New Consumer, admitted the target was "ambitious".

But he said the "quick, easy and instant" nature of text messages made the target attainable.

Mr Young said he hoped the petition, which should be ready in time for the July 2005 G8 summit in Gleneagles, Scotland, would encourage world leaders to adopt fair trade practices.

The truth about world trade
Developed nations make up 20% of the world's population but consume 86% of the world's goods. (UNHDR)
World trade is estimated to be worth $10 million a minute - the world's 49 least developed countries account for only 0.4% of this. (Christian Aid)
The UN estimates that poor countries are denied $700 billion because of unfair trade rules. (Christian Aid)

Surveys have repeatedly shown that people are willing to pay more for fair trade products, and food sales are growing by nearly 100% a year in Britain.

In addition to food, consumers are able to purchase other fair trade items such as crafts and clothing, and the market is growing.

The suppliers of fair trade products do business directly with the producers in the developing world. In this way they are able to cut out the middle man so that the producers receive maximum profit.

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14 Jun 04  |  Business
Profile: World Trade Organisation
21 May 04  |  Country profiles

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