Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Eat Local and Think Global in Food Fight

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Eat Local and Think Global in Food Fight

Article excerpt

Byline: By Louise Redvers

Organic and fair trade products are becoming more and more popular. Louise Redvers reports on this food revolution

Would chocolate taste as sweet if you knew it was made with slave labour? Would you be so keen for your morning coffee if you knew the bean producer can barely afford to feed his family because the international producers pay so little for his work?

And do you really want to eat meat that's been frozen and flown in from New Zealand or Argentina when Northumberland has its own award winning livestock industry?

More and more of us are asking these sorts of questions and more and more of us are choosing to shop local and organic and choose fair-traded international products.

Gosforth High Street is now home to one of Britain's biggest organic supermarkets Out of This World, and up the road in Gosforth Squash Club is The Open Kitchen, a new restaurant cooking up local, organic and fair trade dishes.

Store manager Simon Critchley said: "I think people are more aware these days and in the 10 years we've been here, we've seen a growing interest.

"We have recently moved to a larger store and trade is 50% up on this time last year, which really shows there is a demand for it.

"There have been a lot of food scares with BSE and then GM crops and people are more interested in what they eat.

"I also think people are more aware of where food comes from and about Third World poverty and they are shopping with more of a conscience and choosing fairly traded items

"Buying local is also becoming more important as shoppers become more aware of food miles, where things are imported from half way around the world and then distributed large distances by roads in Britain.

"We stock a lot of local produce, especially fruit and vegetables and milk and cheese and these are very popular."

He added: "There's a long history of ethical shopping in this area, Richard Adams who set up Traidcraft, which ensures craft products are sourced fairly, comes from here and he set up Out of This World."

But it's not just leafy Gosforth which is tuning into the organic revolution. Last Thursday South Tyneside school pupils spent a day learning about fair trade products and why they're important as part of an enterprise project.

They made costumes for different countries and posters about the fair trade products those countries produce. They then filmed their presentations to make a DVD about the day.

The 40 youngsters from Years 8, 9 and 10 at St Wilfred's RC Comprehensive School, in South Shields, enjoyed a packed lunch from The Open Kitchen.

Each bag contained a fair trade banana, some fair trade Divine chocolate and a Maryland stottie, made from Northumberland bacon sausage and tomato and fairly-traded banana and pineapple. …

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