Fairtrade is not just a buying and selling process. It is creating a global family.

Tadesse Meskela, coffee co-operative manager, Ethiopia
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Harrogate Borough Fairtrade Group Redesignation


 

Harrogate Borough Fairtrade Steering Group were delighted to gain the renewal of Fairtrade Status for the Borough on 18th March this year. Harrogate Borough was first awarded Fairtrade Status in 2006 and this is our second renewal.

Fairtrade status is awarded for 2 years and reviewed by the Fairtrade Foundation, a national independent non-profit organisation that licenses use of the Fairtrade Mark on products in the UK in accordance with internationally agreed Fairtrade standards. In order to retain Fairtrade status Harrogate Borough must continue to support Fairtrade on a district-wide basis and increase the range of shops, cafes and workplaces using a variety of Fairtrade goods. In addition to the large retail chains Harrogate is fortunate to have a dedicated Fairtrade Shop which is based in the old entrance to St Peter’s church in the town centre.

The attraction of Fairtrade to local people is that it is an active and practical way that they can support changes in the trade system to provide a fairer deal for small farmers and producers in the third world.

‘Buying Fairtrade improves the lives of millions of people worldwide’, said Carmen Sawers, Chair of Harrogate Borough Fairtrade Group, ‘for example, by buying ‘Divine’ Fairtrade chocolate you are helping people in Ghana send their children to school, as well as enjoying the taste of quality chocolate.’

The aim for the next 2 years will be to spread the message as widely as possible and increase awareness of the constantly growing range of goods available which now includes honey, jam, cereal, wine, biscuits, sugar, cakes, dried fruit, avocados, oranges, as well as the well established tea, coffee, chocolate and bananas.

Over this period the Steering Group also hope to help several more schools in our Borough to achieve Fairtrade Status. In addition, the Harrogate Fairtrade Group has now produced window stickers. These will be appearing in Fairtrade outlets through the Harrogate area over the next few months. The first one to be presented was to Café Culture on Leeds Road, Harrogate closely followed by Bean & Bud on Commercial Street, Harrogate.

Andrew Jones MP, who used to co-chair Harrogate & District’s Fairtrade Steering Group, said: 'I am proud that Harrogate has, once again, had their Fairtrade status renewed. From the amount of Fairtrade goods in our local shops, I know trade justice is something residents really care about. Fairtrade is about ending the poverty cycle and starting sustainable development so that we can help the poorest farmers in the world make a decent living from their work and help developing countries get a fair deal. And this status proves that Harrogate and Knaresborough are doing their bit to help the poorest countries trade their way out of poverty.'

 

Fairtrade Fortnight 2013

Fairtrade Shop takes on rice challenge


Carmen Sawers, left, chairman of Harrogate Borough Fairtrade Group with Louise Ashton, manager of the Harrogate Fairtrade Shop at St Peter's church in Harrogate with some of the bags of rice.

The Fairtrade shop at St Peter's Church in Harrogate took on the challenge of selling 90kg of rice at fair trade prices during Fairtrade Fortnight. The rice challenge involves selling 90kg of rice as if a farmer in Malawi can sell 90kg of rice at a fair price, then he would have sufficient income to send one of his children to High School for a year. Carmen Sawyers, chair of Harrogate Fairtrade Group said: "We have already managed to sell one lot of 90kg and we are half way to selling another lot. "It's a good way to look at it that the amount would be enough to send a child in Malawi to High School for a year. "Education is so important to help people living in poverty." Fairtrade shop manager Louise Ashton said the project has been going well. She said: "The rice has really been selling well. "We don't tend to sell a lot of food usually, we sell a huge range of things, more than I think people realise. "We sell lots of gifts and craftware." She added: "I think some people don't realise all the things we sell. "Some people think because we are in the church we sell religious good which isn't the case." Mrs Ashton explained that the shop is staffed mainly by volunteers who have said it has been quite busy for Fairtrade Fortnight. Mrs Sawyers said the project had been going well and that the rice wasn't only being sold in the shop. She said: "It has been sold at lots of churches including Wesley Chapel. "One lady even sold rice to her German language class." "People are really supportive of the project because with rice it's something they would buy anyway"

Yorkshire's Historic Fairtrade Success



The snowy weather didn't stop members of the Harrogate Borough, and Ripon Fairtrade Groups celebrating the successful achievement of Yorkshire becoming the first Fairtrade Region in the UK. In fact the deep layer of snow was most helpful in chilling the Fairtrade champagne with which the group toasted the success of the campaign!



The group chose to raise their glasses outside Harrogate Pump Room as one of Yorkshire's iconic landmarks. Carmen Sawers, Chair of Harrogate Borough Fairtrade Group, said "We are delighted to celebrate this achievement. Harrogate has been known for the health-giving qualities of its spa water for nearly two centuries, despite the interesting taste! The Fairtrade champagne leaves a better taste in your mouth, not just the obvious one but because of the life-changing result brought to the producers by receiving the benefits of a Fairtrade price. Fairtrade products definitely include a health-giving quality."

The official declaration on 18th January this year marked the culmination of three years' work by campaigners and traders across Yorkshire, and recognised the enormous support for Fairtrade across the region. The campaign received the support of Yorkshire bishops, sportsmen and sportswomen, schools, universities, faith groups, MEPs, Councils and artists including Ian McMillan, the Bard of Barnsley. Support came from MPs including George Galloway, Hilary Benn, Rachel Reeves and Greg Mulholland, who tabled an Early Day Motion in Parliament supporting the campaign. This has so far received the signatures of 27 MPs including the York-born David Davis. The group included Harrogate & Knaresborough MP, Andrew Jones, who said: "Becoming the first certified Fairtrade Region is a fantastic achievement. Everyone who's bought, sold or supported Fairtrade anywhere in Yorkshire has contributed to this - the support really has been amazing, from Harrogate to Hull, Ripon to Rotherham. It just shows how caring Yorkshire folk are."

The success of Fairtrade products has been a phenomenon, defying the downturn and growing to sales worth £1.32bn across the UK in 2011. By providing a guaranteed minimum price for products, Fairtrade provides dignity and security to producers and helps communities lift themselves out of poverty all over the developing world. Over 4,500 products are now bear the Fairtrade Mark, which is certified by an international network of foundations.


Note to Editors

For more information about Fairtrade please see http://www.fairtrade.org

For more information about the Fairtrade Yorkshire campaign, please contact Richard Lane, Media Co-ordinator, on 07923 915724 or richard@fairtradeyork.com

©Simon Rawles

Moussa Keita, Speaker, UC-CPC de Djidian Cotton, Mali "Today, all my children can go to school because I can afford to pay the school fees; we eat every day, we are able to eat when we are hungry. I can also meet the costs of medicines should we need them. Before, it was difficult to find enough money to get by. Only three of my children used to go to school; today all of my children go to school. Our kids are well dressed, they have uniforms and they have materials for school. With the premium we’ve built two classrooms, a teachers staff room and a shop." "Now we use organic inputs, fewer insecticides and more compost. There has been an improvement in the quality of the cotton and there is a better yield (before 1.2 tonnes per hectare, today 1.7 tonnes per hectare)." "There have been lots of changes with switching to Fairtrade. With the extra profit I was able to buy my first cart. The cart allows me to transport the cotton, which makes the farm more efficient and productive."