NEWCASTLE Emlyn is once again gearing up to take part in Fairtrade Fortnight – which this year has a distinctly sweet appeal.

Each year a different theme is chosen and this time around Fairtrade Fortnight is focusing on the people – in particular the women – who grow the cocoa in the chocolate we love so much.

The event takes place between Monday February 25 and Sunday, March 10 and Fairtrade Fortnight is campaigning for a living income to become a reality for cocoa farmers in West Africa where £1.86 is the amount a cocoa farmer in West Africa needs to earn each day in order to achieve a living income.

Currently, a typical cocoa farmer in Cote d’Ivoire lives on around 74p a day. Almost all cocoa farmers in West Africa live in poverty.

For the women the situation is even worse. They may plant and harvest on the farm, look after children, carry water, collect wood, cook and clean for the family and transport the cocoa beans to market but often with fewer rights than men.

Jill Sutton, of Fair and Fabulous in Newcastle Emlyn, said: “We started doing this back in 2011 before we were awarded our status as a Fairtrade town.

“The initial campaign revolved around Fairtrade cotton and was a great way to kick everything off.

“We had lots of pieces of Fairtrade cotton which enabled us to go out to schools and club to make bunting, enabling us to engage with people and kick-start the whole movement in town.”

It is hoped that shops, businesses and local groups around the town will all get involved in again and already several events are planned, including the Great Chocolate Cake Bake-off.

This will take place at Cawdor Hall on the morning of Saturday, March 9 and people are being asked to bake their favourite chocolate cake using Fairtrade products and ingredients, which will then be judged with categories for both adults and children. There will also be free car parking in the town that day.

The local Guides and Brownies will be baking to coincide with International Women’s Day, while the Co-op will also be doing a Fairtrade chocolate tasting session.

Entry forms for the Great Bake-off competition area available from Fair and Fabulous.

“It’s the first time we have done this and we want the whole community to ‘get baking’” added Jill.