SOUTHEND Council is urging residents to support Fairtrade Fortnight which starts next week.

The Southend Together Partnership, which involves the council and other groups, is teaming up with Britain’s biggest supermarket chains to support The Big Swap as part of the campaign.

The fortnight starts on Monday (February 22) until March 7, and aims to raise awareness of how shoppers can make a difference to the developing world by buying Fairtrade products.

The aim of The Big Swap is to buy a Fairtrade alternative instead of one of your usual purchases, to show support for producers in the developing world through what you buy.

Councillor Andrew Moring, a member of Southend Council’s Fairtrade Steering Group, said: “As a partnership, Southend Together understands the importance of Fairtrade on both a local and global scale.

“Recent research commissioned by the Fairtrade Foundation shows that recognition of the Fairtrade brand is increasing.

“More people understand how the Fairtrade mark is helping to make a better deal for producers in the developing world.”

Information about Fairtrade products will be available at the following venues where the Southend Together Partnership will be encouraging shoppers to take part in ‘The Big Swap’: Asda, in North Shoebury Road, Shoebury on Tuesday (Feb 23), Sainsburys, in Southend High Street on Thursday, March 4, Waitrose in Eastern Avenue, Southend, Saturday, February 27, and Tesco in Prince Avenue, Southend, on Monday March 1.

Fairtrade aims to establishing better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world.