Third Voice: A day in the life of a Fairtrade obsessive (and a vet)

Bruce Crowther, Fairtrade co-ordinator and vet in Garstang, Lancashire - the world's first Fairtrade Town

2am: Fairtrade is my obsession - I even dream about it. I am inspired by Thomas Clarkson, the man who led the campaign to abolish the slave trade. He kept a candle and a quill pen by his bed so he could jot down any ideas that came to him, ensuring they were not lost by morning.

The idea for Fairtrade Towns came to me in the middle of the night. I realised that if we were successful in persuading the council, schools, churches and businesses to use or sell Fairtrade products, then Garstang could be a Fairtrade Town. We've come a long way - the cities of Manchester and Salford will jointly declare themselves the 100th Fairtrade Town during Fairtrade Fortnight, which runs from 1 to 13 March.

8am: Every day is either a vet day or a Fairtrade Foundation day. When I was a Fairtrade volunteer and working full-time as a vet, there were times when I was forced to give a media interview while I was examining a dog! Today is a vet day.

11am: The owner of one of my patients brings me a box of chocolates as a thank you. But, shock horror, there is no Fairtrade mark! I make sure that presents I give carry the Fairtrade mark whenever possible. In the old days, I used to lose a lot of friends by drinking fairtrade coffee.

Now it is of such good quality that I keep them.

1 pm: Lunchtime, and again my wife has to listen to me rabbiting on about Fairtrade. She'd rather talk about the garden, but for me it's got to be global poverty.

We always try to buy Fairtrade. There is such a vast range of products I no longer have to drink the same wine every weekend.

3pm: It's quiet at the surgery so I come home and do some Fairtrade work.

The frustrations persist - from bandaging an unhappy cat to trying to draw a graph on my computer.

I phone a Fairtrade supporter about the theme of Fairtrade Fortnight - Check Out Fairtrade. It's about the Fairtrade mark being the only independent guarantee of a fair deal for farmers in developing countries. I'm also giving advice on persuading her local authority to use Fairtrade hot drinks.

With Fairtrade, you really can make a difference just by choosing to use Fairtrade tea and coffee at home or work.

9pm: After dinner I indulge myself with a bar of Divine orange milk chocolate and a cup of Fairtrade tea. Supporting Fairtrade can be so enjoyable...

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