Support Fairtrade Fortnight in the tastiest way – buy chocolate!

Fairtrade is a socially ethical movement whose goal is to help producers in developing countries achieve better trading conditions and to promote sustainable farming.

They check that their standards have been met by the farmers, workers and companies that are part of the products supply chain. The Fairtrade mark on packaging ensures that the criteria has been certified

There are over 4,500 Fairtrade products from coffee and tea to flowers and even gold.

In the UK there are 500 Fairtrade towns, 118 universities, over 6,000 churches and over 4,000 schools registered to the Fairtrade Schools Scheme.

Fairtrade Fortnight starts on Monday, February 24 and runs until March 8. It makes sense to be aware of, and buy, Fairtrade products as this can often be a much more efficient way of promoting sustainable development than traditional charity and aid.

One of the easiest ways to support the campaign is by buying Fairtrade chocolate and cocoa products.

It mightn’t solve all the issues immediately but by keeping up the demand it allows farmers to sell more of their products on fair terms and thus increasing their income.

The perfect way to do this is by making chocolate truffles. My first recipe is for them flavoured with a brilliant new product from Northern Ireland.

Mourne Dew distillery in Rostrevor make superb gins but they have introduced a hazelnut poitin to their range.

It’s beautifully nutty and sweet and perfect infused into the chocolate truffles.

A toot is also nice swirled into a good hot chocolate – buy a Fairtrade one to support cocoa farmers and local distillers alike!

The trade in bananas is the cornerstone of many developing countries’ economies but the social problems in the industry are many and complex.

Fairtrade works to support both banana farmers and workers on plantations. Their vision is to work with the banana trade to create more value for producers and ensure they get a decent price and decent pay for the labour involved.

Bananas are the ultimate healthy snack – they give a quick burst of energy and are an excellent source of potassium and vitamin B6.

Sometimes I get a bit over enthusiastic when buying them and end up with some discoloured ones in the fruit bowl. These make the best banana bread .

My other recipe is for banana bread that can be eaten warm first of all. With any left over the second part of the recipe is for a banana bread French Toast served with a chocolate cream on the side.

For more information on Fairtrade and how you can support it go to