Kiwi celebs are up on the auction block this week to promote fair trade with Oxfam.

The organisation’s Fair Trade Me auctions launch April 5 on Trade Me, and for 10 days New Zealanders can bid for the chance to win fair trade coffee dates with their favourite celebrity or notable New Zealander.

Bidders can choose from five fantastic Fair Trade Me auctions including: a coffee with former Rugby World Cup-winning coach of the All Blacks Sir Graham Henry at his favourite café; a cuppa on the set of Nothing Trivial with Shane Cortese; a morning learning culinary skills with chefs at top Wellington restaurant Logan Brown, followed by a degustation lunch with owner/chef Steve Logan; a visit to the Degas to Dali exhibition at Auckland Art Gallery and lunch with Almighty Johnsons actress Michelle Langston, and; a one on one mentoring session and goodie bag from Starfish eco-fashion designer Laurie Foon.

The Fair Trade Me auctions, held in conjunction with Oxfam’s Biggest Coffee Break, help raise awareness of fair trade and funds for Oxfam’s work with growers and producers throughout the developing world.

“Supporting the Oxfam Coffee Break campaign feels good,” says Wellington restaurateur Steve Logan. “It’s helping the little guy over the massive corporations and faceless shareholders. It’s easy to help just by choosing everyday Fairtrade-labelled products like bananas or coffee over others.”

Sir Graham Henry agrees: “It’s a pleasure to help struggling growers in developing countries get a better deal and in doing so meet some interesting people for coffee and a chat.”

Buying fair trade is an effective way for shoppers to help these growers work their way out of poverty—through better prices, decent working conditions, environmentally sustainable farming methods and investment in local community development.

The celebrity Coffee Breaks will take place with winning bidders during Fair Trade Fortnight, May 5-20, along with Oxfam’s Biggest Coffee Break. Coffee Breaks are social events hosted throughout the country in homes, workplaces, community centres and schools. Hosts sign up to receive free Fairtrade Certified goodies from Oxfam, including Caffe L’affare coffee, Scarborough Fair tea, Kokako drinking chocolate and Whittaker’s chocolate. In return, they invite friends, co-workers and schoolmates to share the treats and learn about fair trade.

Last year 40,000 New Zealanders celebrated fair trade by taking part in Oxfam’s Biggest Coffee Break, and this year Oxfam expects even more people to join in. All proceeds from the auctions and Coffee Breaks support Oxfam’s work towards a fairer, safer, more sustainable world. Sign ups end April 20.

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