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Section highlightHouses into homes This report details findings to emerge from the evaluation during the first six months of delivery (April to September 2012).
Written Statement - Update on tobacco policy »Standardised packaging of tobacco products and Sub Committees on The Smoke-free Premises etc. (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2012.Learn more »
Industry and government plan for a healthy future for farming in Wales
- Statement from First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones, on the Woolwich attack
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- Industry and government plan for a healthy future for farming in Wales
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Section highlightAccess to information
The Welsh Government has followed the principles of openness in government for many years. Find out how you can make a freedom of information request or see requests that have already been made.
Sky lanterns: environmental and risk assessment »To establish an evidence base to help any future policy decisions on sky lanterns and helium balloons.Learn more »
- Future management of private water supply pipes
- Higher Education (Wales) Bill: Technical consultation
- Renting Homes White Paper
- The draft School Governors’ Annual Reports (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2013
- The future of agricultural statistical data collection methods in Wales
- Consultation - Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (Wales) Regulations 2006 (Amendment) Regulations 2013
Featured consultation »Implementing the Domestic Fire Safety (Wales) Measure 2011
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Section highlightFurther and Higher Education (Governance and Information) (Wales) Bill 2013
Removes a number of technical restrictions and controls on colleges without changing the principal powers of colleges to provide further, higher and secondary education.
Legislative programme 2012 - 2013 »
Addressing the Assembly in the Senedd today, the First Minister, Carwyn Jones, detailed the eight bills in the Welsh Government’s 5-year Legislative Programme that will be brought forward during the second year of the Welsh Assembly.Learn more »
Section highlightCommunity Infrastructure Levy
Local authorities can charge a Community Infrastructure Levy on new developments to support the infrastructure needed.
2nd Supplementary Budget 2012-13 »
Proposes a number of changes to the 1st Supplementary Budget for 2012-13, which was published on 26 June 2012.Learn more »
Oral - Fair Trade Fortnight
It is now Fairtrade Fortnight, running from 23 February to 8 March, and I would like to highlight some of the activities taking place across Wales as well as our achievements over the past year when we became the world’s first Fairtrade Nation.
The international fair-trade movement continues to grow and ensures a better deal for farmers and producers in developing countries. Around a quarter of the world’s population still lives in extreme poverty, on less than $1 a day, but fair trade allows some of the poorest farmers and producers in the world to trade their way out of poverty. A fair price is paid for their produce and additional support is provided for future development in their communities. This can make all the difference to families who would otherwise struggle to send their children to school, or have access to clean water and medical facilities. It is estimated that more than 7 million people in Africa, in Asia and in Latin America now benefit from fair trade.
The Assembly Government’s support for fair trade has been set out in our sustainable development actions plans and schemes, and also forms a key part of our framework for action on international sustainable development and the Wales for Africa programme. In the last Government, we committed to supporting the campaign to make Wales the world’s first Fairtrade Nation, led by the Fair Trade Wales organisation with funding from the Assembly Government.
The Fairtrade Nation criteria were set in 2006. A panel of international fair trade sector representatives assessed Wales’s achievements against the criteria last year. Wales was then declared the world’s first Fairtrade Nation on 6 June 2008 at an international fair-trade summit held in Newport, at which 18 farmers from Latin America and Africa were present.
Over 1,000 volunteers across Wales worked hard on the Fairtrade Nation campaign, and they continue to maintain and build on that achievement. To become a Fairtrade Nation, all Welsh local authorities and over half of all towns in Wales needed to have active fair-trade groups. All of our cities and 60 per cent of our higher education institutions needed to have fair-trade status. In addition, the National Assembly for Wales and the Welsh Assembly Government had to be using fair-trade products internally and promoting fair-trade externally.
These, and other, criteria were met, but the work has not stopped there. Since last summer, two more local authorities have achieved fair-trade status, so over 60 per cent of counties in Wales now have this status. Eleven more towns have set up fair-trade groups, making a total of 69 fair-trade towns across Wales. Five hundred schools in Wales are now registered on the fair-trade schools scheme, which is around 25 per cent of Welsh schools, compared with 10 per cent of Scottish schools and 5 per cent of schools in London. By the end of Fairtrade Fortnight, all of our universities are expected to have achieved fair-trade status. In October last year, Arriva Trains Wales announced its significant decision to switch to fair-trade hot drinks on all of its services.
Much of the work so far has been about raising awareness, but we hope to move the emphasis over time to linking consumers and fair-trade producers more directly. Through the Wales for Africa programme, the Assembly Government is providing funding for Welsh-led business advice and support to the Gumutindo Fairtrade Coffee Co-operative in Uganda. We will also be supporting the Bees for Development organisation to enable beekeepers in Cameroon to sell honey and beeswax through a Welsh fair-trade company.
Wales can therefore be very proud to celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight this year. Lots of activities will be taking place across the country, organised by local fair-trade groups, supporters and organisations, and supported by Fair Trade Wales. We will also be hosting visits from three fair-trade farmers during the fortnight, including a banana producer from Dominica, one of the Windward Islands, a tea producer from Sri Lanka and a coffee producer from Columbia. They will be attending, and speaking at, many of the events in Wales.
Activities taking place in Wales include a fair-trade schools conference in Caerphilly, a banana relay across Ammanford, a world folk music evening in Llandudno and a great trade debate in the National Museum Cardiff, which I have been invited to chair. This has been organised by the UK Fairtrade Foundation and will involve some very interesting participants from the World Development Movement, the International Policy Network and the author of The Economist’s Tale, Peter Griffiths. They will be debating the question: 'Can trade be both free and fair?’
Another event that I am attending is a 'go bananas for fair trade’ challenge at The Co-operative store in Porth on the morning of Saturday, 7 March. This is part of a UK record attempt for the largest numbers of fair-trade bananas eaten by as many people as possible over a 24-hour period, from noon on 6 March to noon on 7 March. Many groups in Wales will be taking part in this challenge and registering the results through the Fairtrade Foundation’s website, and I would encourage everyone, particularly Assembly Members, to get involved.
The Fair Trade Wales website has information about the activities taking place over Fairtrade Fortnight, so I ask Assembly Members to give their support to these activities wherever possible. I also wish to take this opportunity to thank Fair Trade Wales and the many hundreds of dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers who promote fair trade to their local communities and businesses.
The slogan for this year’s Fairtrade Fortnight is 'Make it happen. Choose Fairtrade’. Wales is demonstrating how even a small country can take big steps to bring about a big change. Our decision to support and promote awareness of fair trade is making a hugely important impact on the lives of third-world producers and their families.