West Cheshire renews Fairtrade borough status ahead of Fairtrade Fortnight
15 February 2021Cheshire West and Chester Council has joined other local campaigners to successfully renew the borough's Fairtrade status for two years, ahead of Fairtrade Fortnight (22 February - 7 March 2021).
The borough's Fairtrade Steering Group, which includes campaigners and supporters from Neston, Ellesmere Port and Chester, first secured Fairtrade status for Chester city in 2002 and for the borough in 2011 and this has been successfully renewed every two years since. Through its work the group promotes Fairtrade to community groups and businesses across the area. There are now three Fairtrade shops, 65 cafes and restaurants, seven supermarkets and 20 local organisations stocking Fairtrade products across the borough.
The Council has representatives that sit on the Fairtrade Steering Group and through the Councils Facilities Management provider, Fairtrade tea and coffee is supplied in Council buildings.
Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world.
This year's Fairtrade Fortnight campaign will highlight the growing challenges that climate change brings to farmers and workers in communities around the world. The climate crisis is an immediate and ever-increasing threat and those in climate vulnerable countries are already seeing its impacts from droughts and crop disease to floods, heatwaves and shrinking harvests.
With the current COVID-19 restrictions in place an online Fairtrade festival has been organised by the Fairtrade Foundation. The festival will feature panel discussions with farmers from communities around the world, interactive workshops on sustainable living, live music and lots more. The full festival line up can be found on www.fairtrade.org.uk.
Councillor Paul Donovan, Cabinet Member for Workforce, Equality and Democracy, said: "The Council is fully committed to supporting Fairtrade both within the Council, through our partner organisations and across the borough. The theme of this year's Fairtrade Fortnight event links closely in with the work we are doing around the Climate Emergency and it is vital that we all consider how our actions can impact others around the world. We can all play our part to make sure farmers and producers have a fair deal by choosing products with the Fairtrade label."
John Tacon, Acting Chair of the Fairtrade Steering Group said: "We are delighted that we have been successful in our reaccreditation application for Fairtrade status for Cheshire West and Chester. It is testament to the huge commitment of our steering group to encourage wider support of Fairtrade across the borough.
"We have seen so much support from schools, communities, cafes, shops, and restaurants to support Fairtrade which enables small-scale farmers and workers to drive forward a better future for all. Fairtrade works to share the benefits of trade more equally. We'd love more people, businesses and organisations to get involved so we can build upon this success and make Fairtrade even more widely known."
To get more involved with Fairtrade in west Cheshire, visit their Facebook page: cheshirewestfairtrade.