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Buying fair trade goods guarantees that food producers abroad get properly rewarded for their efforts. But what about Britain's hard-pressed farmers? Barbara Panvel reports on a new initiative to ensure that shops who give them a decent a deal are properly recognised.

Fair Trade Logo

The search is on for West Midlands retailers who give food producers a fair price i.e. one that covers their labour, materials and overheads and allows them to make a decent profit.

Sales of Fairtrade foods from other countries are rising and we hope that a range of Fair Deals forlocally made goods will be identified in our region - allowing shoppers to reward those shops who treat their suppliers properly.

Our investigations have revealedthat some farmers and growers are not getting a fair price and cannot name a single worthy buyer. Others are selling directly to the public.

Thankfully, there are some positive examples too, and the first Fair Deal buyer has been selected by Lynda Whitcombe of Plantation Cottage Herbs based in the Worcestershire villageof Bricklehampton, who sells to individuals, small shops and a supermarket chain.

She has nominated Capers of Pershore as a Fair Dealing shop.

Lynda appreciates thefair price they pay for her products, which include award-winning herb jellies in twelve flavours, fruit vinegars, preserves and mustards, traditionally hand-made with herbs from Lynda's cottage garden and locally grown fruit. Her medicinal and pot grown herbs are available in season.

Capers also stocks freshly baked breads, biscuits, cakes, tasty cheeses, meats and fish, as well as mouth-watering olives and ice creams, with fine wines and liqueurs.

Its owner, Helen Saunders, believes that independent producers and growers offer higher quality because the smaller scale of production makes close attention possible and pride is taken in maintaining high standards.

For more details, check out, or e-mail

Capers is at 10 High Street, Pershore, e-mail:


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