Made in Chelsea’s Cheska Hull today joined forces with Fairtrade campaigners and members of The Co-operative to call on the UK Government to use the G8 summit to unlock greater support for smallholder farmers to feed the world fairly and sustainably.

Ahead of World Fair Trade Day, on the 11th of May, the reality TV star helped hand in petitions to 10 Downing Street jointly signed by more than 75,000 people highlighting the important role that the world’s 500 million smallholder farmers can play in feeding the world’s growing population.

Cheska Hull said she was delighted to be part of the hand-in event: ‘’I love that Fairtrade campaigners, Co-operative members and celebrities alike got behind these petitions. I hope that by taking part in Fairtrade’s fun personalized petition and mini march, we ultimately manage to put smallholder farmers on the agenda at the G8.”

Oxfam, and The Co-operative has been championing smallholder farmers for over a year through its Grow Co-operatives campaign, highlighting that with the right tools, training and investment, these smallholder farmers – many of whom are women – offer an excellent route to feed the world fairly and sustainably. What’s more, if supported to form co-operatives, they will be able to pool resources, increase yields and secure fairer prices.

The Fairtrade Foundation launched its Make Food Fair Campaign earlier this year highlighting five solutions or interventions needed to help smallholder farmers to be properly rewarded for their work so they can continue to grow the food we love to eat and meet the rising global demand. Read more about the solutions in the report: Powering up Smallholders to Make Food Fair or this report summary.

Everyone who signed the Fairtrade Foundation petition was able to create a personalised mini paper person, courtesy of technology start-up Foldable.Me to create a virtual march on Parliament to launch the Make Food Fair Campaign. Marchers included mini versions of celebrities Jonathan Ross, Harry Hill, Tinchy Stryder, Amanda Holden, Louis Smith, Richard Hammond, Levi Roots, Dermot O’Leary, Andi Peters and Eddie Izzard.

Len Wardle, Chair of the Co-operative Group, said: “We believe the G8 meeting provides a crucial opportunity for governments to recognise the contribution that smallholder farmers and co-operatives make towards food security and poverty reduction. Tens of thousands of our members have called on the UK Government to unlock greater resources.

“As the supermarket pioneer of Fairtrade, we are actively working to improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of smallholder farmers across the world. Our latest commitment – that if it can be Fairtrade it will be – will see us extend the benefits of Fairtrade to thousands more smallholders.”

Last year stars such as Harry Hill, Alex Jones, Lorraine Kelly and Darren Bennett backed a campaign promoting Fairtrade products.

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