THE Launceston City Council has thrown its support firmly behind local Fair Trade businesses in the wake of Fair Trade Fortnight, which began on May 2.
Mayor Albert van Zetten met members from Fair Trade Tasmania in the Brisbane Street Mall yesterday to discuss the importance of residents buying Fair Trade products.
Fair Trade businesses do not support the abuse of children in the workplace or slavery at home and abroad.
Alderman van Zetten said more than 20 Northern businesses were on board with Fair Trade Australia.
``We've become a Fair Trade city and as a council we're quite involved with a number of Fair Trade businesses,'' he said.
``It highlights for me that there are some places that are abusing kids and using people to make their money and their gains.
``Fair Trade is trying to ensure that that is not happening.
``Fair Trade won't support businesses who are exploiting slave labour.''
The Mayor said he was already doing his bit to support local Fair Trade businesses as well.
``Tea's the one that I have,'' he said.
``I'm not a big coffee drinker and I'm not a chocoholic either, so I drink any Fair Trade tea.
``These products are not made using kids in slave labour in other countries.
``That still goes on unfortunately. A lot of businesses are still using very cheap labour and those people can't even afford to live.''
Oxfam store manager Amanda Dewis urged residents to keep a lookout for the Fair Trade logo in stores.
``If you buy an item with a Fair Trade symbol, that means you've supported these producers at a really fair price, and in other countries this is really important,'' Ms Dewis said.
``We're so lucky in this country that we have fair wages, so we need to support others in other countries.''