Help to Buy – Wales Shared Equity Scheme »This shared equity loan will make up the shortfall between the purchase price of a property and the funding available to buyers through their cash deposit and mortgage offer.Learn more »
“Autumn Statement has done little to change the challenging public finance outlook for Wales” – Jane Hutt
Wales’ Finance Minister Jane Hutt has responded to the UK Government’s Autumn Statement – saying that it has done little to change the challenging public finance outlook for Wales.
- More Working Smarter improvements rolled out
- Independent report revealed at the Event Wales International Conference 2013 outlines positive impact of games and events for Wales
- “Autumn Statement has done little to change the challenging public finance outlook for Wales” – Jane Hutt
- Consultation on Regional engagement partnership structures in the tourism sector
- Implementation of Commission Directive 2013/45/EU concerning the change to the botanical name of tomato
- School term dates regulations
- Draft Statutory Instrument - Infant formula and follow-on formula (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2014
- Beyond 2011: Consultation on Census and future provision of population statistics in England and Wales
- M4 Corridor around Newport Consultation
Featured consultation »New guidance for the Risk Assessment of Walked Routes to School
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In this section
Section highlightThe Housing (Wales) Bill
The Bill will introduce significant improvements across the housing sector to ensure that people have access to a decent, affordable home and better housing-related services.
Legislative programme 2013 - 2014 »
The First Minister detailed the 8 bills in the Welsh Government’s 5-year Legislative Programme that will be brought forward during the 3rd year of the Welsh Assembly.Learn more »
Section highlightDraft Budget 2014-15
Our focus is on protecting the NHS and schools, boosting economic growth and creating jobs, as well as tackling poverty and protecting the vulnerable.
Final Budget 2014-15 »
The amount of funding allocated to Welsh Government Departments for 2014-15 is £14.9bn.Learn more »
- Statistics & Research
Upcoming calendar »
See the schedule for all statistics and research releases.
Written - Fairtrade Fortnight - 22 February to 7 March 2010
It is now Fairtrade Fortnight (running from 22 February to 7 March 2010) in the UK - a time for raising awareness and celebrating the impact of Fair Trade in tackling the extreme poverty faced by farmers and producers in many of the world’s poorest countries. I would like to take this opportunity to give you an update on the progress of the Fair Trade Nation campaign and Fair Trade activities supported by the Assembly Government over the past year, and to highlight some of the events taking place across Wales during this fortnight.
Wales was declared the world’s first Fair Trade Nation in June 2008 following a campaign led by the Fair Trade Wales organisation, funded by the Assembly Government. However we regard being a Fair Trade Nation as a journey, not a destination, and we have an ongoing commitment to supporting and raising awareness of Fair Trade. The Fair Trade Nation campaign was, and continues to be, supported by many enthusiastic volunteers from Welsh communities and organisations and assisted by Fair Trade Wales.
During the past year 5 more Welsh local authorities and 3 more towns have achieved Fairtrade status. This means that 70% of local authorities and 42% towns in Wales are now certified Fairtrade.
41% of schools in Wales are now registered with the UK Fairtrade School scheme and the number of Welsh schools with Fairtrade status went up from 55 last year to 82 this year. Schools in Wales therefore continue to account for a quarter of all the schools with Fairtrade status in the UK.
Both leading farmers unions in Wales (National Farmers Union Cymru and Farmers’ Union of Wales) have now agreed joint statements with Fair Trade Wales, committing to support of Fairtrade products and promoting the message, ‘If you can’t buy local produce, buy Fair Trade produce’.
Through the Wales for Africa programme this year, the Assembly Government has funded a number of Fair Trade projects. We have supported the Welsh-based Bees for Development organisation to work with beekeepers in Cameroon, helping them to improve the quality and quantity of their honey and beeswax so that it can be sold by a Welsh Fair Trade company. We have continued to provide Welsh-led business advice and support to the Gumutindo Fairtrade Coffee Co-operative in Uganda, and used this link to promote greater understanding of Fair Trade in Wales. We have also continued to provide marketing advice and support to specialist Fairtrade businesses in Wales through the Wales Co-operative Centre.
We supported a Fairtrade debate about ‘banana wars and other Fairtrade battles’, which took place during the Hay Festival in May 2009. We also helped to fund a Wales World Trade Fair event, held in October 2009 in St David’s Centre, Cardiff, which promoted awareness of Fair Trade, Wales’ position as a Fair Trade Nation, and demonstrated the wide range of Fair Trade products that are now available.
Many activities and celebrations of Fairtrade Fortnight are now taking place across Wales, organised by local town and community groups, and supported and publicised by Fair Trade Wales. I would encourage Assembly Members, wherever possible, to support events taking place in their local areas. A Fairtrade cashew nut farmer from El Salvador in Central America and a Fairtrade olive oil and nut producer from Palestine are also visiting Wales during this fortnight to help promote and explain the impact of fair trade. They will be speaking at some of the local events and details can be found on the Fair Trade Wales website (www.fairtradewales.com).
A key event, being led by Fair Trade Wales, is the Big Swap Tea Party, to be held in the Senedd on 3 March (12-2pm) with local schools demonstrating their Fair Trade work and singing and dancing. Wales’ largest Fairtrade Tablecloth will be displayed, made from 100 Fairtrade cotton squares decorated by schools across Wales. There will also be an evening Fairtrade reception in the Oriel from 5 -7pm. I encourage all Assembly Members to attend and support this event.
The Wales Co-operative Centre are also running an online vote for
Tea and cotton are the UK Fairtrade Foundation’s chosen focus for this year’s Fairtrade Fortnight, along with a campaign asking people to make a ‘swap’ in their shopping from non-Fairtrade products to Fairtrade products, such as Fairtrade tea, lemons or t-shirts.
There have been some significant switches to Fairtrade made by major companies during the past year, and continued growth in the number of different Fairtrade products available. Cadbury’s Dairy Milk and Starbucks’ expresso-based coffees went Fairtrade this year, and more recently Kit Kats and the whole of the Green and Blacks range has become Fairtrade. The first Fairtrade melons are now being sold in some UK supermarket chains and 130 beauty products (involving ingredients such as cocoa-butter and fruit extracts) have been certified as Fairtrade. Fairtrade cotton clothes are now being sold in increasing numbers of High Street chain stores, and the founders of Ben and Jerry’s have just announced their intention to turn their ice-cream completely Fairtrade.
I am also happy to report that the Ryder Cup organisers have committed to serving Fairtrade tea, coffee and sugar during this year’s competition in Wales, and the Olympics and Paralympics will offer Fairtrade bananas, tea, coffee, sugar and hot chocolate across 40 locations in the UK.
Fair Trade therefore continues to thrive, and
I would like to thank and congratulate the thousands of active Fair Trade supporters across Wales whose efforts were the basis for Wales becoming a Fair Trade Nation and who continue to spread awareness and education, particularly during Fairtrade Fortnight. Together we are helping to tackle global poverty through trade, by paying a fair price and supporting community development for some of the world’s poorest farmers and producers.