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30 January 2015

Are our bare necessities fair necessities?

Are our bare necessities fair necessities?

A recent survey shows six out of ten people in the UK say they could not go a day without access to the internet.

The survey, carried out by the country's leading fair trade organisation Traidcraft, also showed the majority could not survive without their smartphones.

The nationwide survey found that more than a third need a morning coffee to get them through the day. More than two thirds of 16-24 year olds listed their smartphone as their top necessity and half of all Londoners quizzed listed their smartphone as their top necessity.

More than a quarter of men couldn't live without their car and half of all Scots surveyed chose a hot shower as their daily essential.

It marks the launch of Traidcraft's Fair Necessities Appeal, the charity's biggest ever fundraising appeal to help smallholder farmers in some of the world's poorest countries escape poverty and build better lives, enabling them to afford the essentials they consider important in everyday life.

Smallholder farmers produce 70 per cent of the world's food, yet represent 50 per cent of the planet's poorest people. Many of these farmers struggle to provide enough food, basic healthcare and education for their families.

In countries such as Bangladesh, regions of India, and in East Africa, Traidcraft works hand in hand with smallholder farmers to teach them more effective cultivation techniques, as well as better business practices, to help them grow more crops, earn more and therefore eat more.

The Fair Necessities appeal will run for three months through to 3 April, with the UK government matching every pound raised through the UK Aid Match scheme, so that public support of the appeal will go twice as far.

International Development Secretary, Justine Greening, who is supporting the appeal, said: "Around 28 million people in Bangladesh live in extreme poverty, unable to access the basic necessities that so many of us take for granted.

"Traidcraft's Fair Necessities Appeal will help smallholder farmers around the world support themselves to escape poverty. By matching public donations to the appeal pound-for-pound, we can give isolated farming households in Bangladesh the skills, equipment and services they need to boost their incomes, improving the quality of life of thousands of people for good."

Larry Bush, Marketing Director at Traidcraft said: "During a very recent trip to Bangladesh, we asked farmers what their top necessities in life were and they listed things like electricity, irrigation systems for the fields and food on the table. This contrasts greatly with the necessities we in this country consider to be important.

"Traidcraft works in some of the world's poorest countries and we really are changing lives. We're giving people who may live in small shelters and farm tiny pieces of land a future, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to grow their way out of poverty. By supporting Traidcraft's Fair Necessities appeal, you can help change lives around the world."

You can donate to the appeal here  or text 'DOUBLE' to 70500 from your mobile phone to donate £5. A short film about our appeal is available to view.