MIDDLESBROUGH mother and son Baristas Necita and Chris Pounder marked the start of Fairtrade fortnight by helping boost donations to the charity Coffee Kids.
As part of the expanding franchise of Esquires Coffee Houses, a proportion of takings from their two town centre bars will support projects that help coffee farmers and their communities.
"Middlesbrough was accredited Fairtrade status in 2007 and part of this involved having the support of the retail community,” said Necita. “More and more people recognise the Fairtrade sign. In a university town, students in particular are more aware.”
According to figures released yesterday, marking the start of Fairtrade fortnight, sales of ethical products in the UK soared to £493m last year - up 81% on 2006.
Fairtrade coffee sales rose 24%, to more than £117m, although bananas were still the most popular Fairtrade item.
Harriet Lamb, executive director of the Fairtrade Foundation, said:
“After years of chipping away, Fairtrade is finally beginning to make some significant impression on the way we trade.”