FAIRTRADE MEETING A GREAT SUCCESS
Kathryn Sygrove, Chair of Durham City Fair Trade Partnership, reports on the inaugural countywide Fairtrade meeting in November.
The Inaugural Countywide Fairtrade Meeting in County Hall at the start of November, attracted a large invited audience, whose aim is to create wider networks across the County. Following Durham County Council’s cross-party Fairtrade resolution in Fairtrade Fortnight 2009, this meeting drew together some high-profile speakers. These included Hannah Reed (Fairtrade Towns Campaign Co-ordinator at the Fairtrade Foundation), Barry Grimes (representing Roberta Blackman-Woods MP), Fiona Hall MEP, and Revd. Dr. David Wilkinson from Durham St John’s College. Their participation underlined the passion and enthusiasm for Fairtrade which already exists in Durham and the North East, is echoed across 500 Fairtrade Towns in the UK alone, and expands much wider into Europe.
The meeting was chaired initially by Cllr Neil Foster, and both he and Ian Thompson, Durham County Council’s Corporate Director for Regeneration and Economic Development, received gifts of Fairtrade chocolate ale presented by Hannah Reed (see picture) as a token of solidarity from the Hadrian’s Wall Fairtrade Group, whose geographical boundaries overlap, and within which the ale was brewed.
The audience included schoolteachers, head teachers, students, representatives of Durham University, AAPs, faith groups, Traidcraft and community organisations; County Councillors, businesspeople, local residents and campaigners.
The meeting ended with lots of ideas about how to spread this initiative countywide, starting with event plans for Fairtrade Fortnight (28th February -13th March 2011) whose title is 'Show Off Your Label'.
Whilst the campaign can focus solely on cotton, it can apply equally to using, displaying, selling, eating, drinking and wearing any product(s) with the FAIRTRADE Mark to raise awareness of the 3,000+ products available in Britain, which offer guaranteed benefits to many producers in developing countries.
Why not add your name to the many who are planning on getting involved this Fairtrade Fortnight? For further information, log onto www.fairtrade.org.uk and be proud to show off your Fairtrade label as well!
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