A Fairtrade Borough
We are proud to announce that in May 2017 Ards and North Down Borough Council became a Fairtrade Borough.
To become a Fairtrade Borough we had to show commitment from all sectors of the community to promote and use fairly traded products.
Five goals had to be achieved and maintained:
- The Council passed a resolution to support Fairtrade and agreeing to serve Fairtrade products.
- A proportion of local retailers and catering establishments must stock Fairtrade products
- Local workplaces, schools and community organisations support Fairtrade and use products wherever possible.
- Media coverage and events be organised to raise awareness and understanding of Fairtrade across the community.
- A local Fairtrade steering group be convened to ensure the campaign continues to develop and gain new support.
As a Fairtrade Borough we continue to promote and encourage the use of Fairtrade Products.
International trade favours rich countries and large companies. Fairtrade aims to help farmers and workers in developing countries receive a fair price for the products they produce. Fairtrade ensures better working conditions and job security for producers, enabling them to improve and have more control over their lives.
More than 1.5 million farmers, workers and their families in 54 countries benefit from Fairtrade. Fairtrade guarantees that:
- Producers receive a fair minimum price to cover the costs of production
- Workers in Fairtrade farms receive decent wages, have good working conditions and have the right to join a union
- The producers receive an additional 'Fairtrade premium' to spend on projects to improve quality of life in their community, such as better healthcare and homes, education and electric lighting
- All workers have a democratic say in all decisions affecting their lives
Fairtrade certifies products and ingredients by independently checking that standards have been met by the farmers, workers and companies that are part of products’ supply chains. Fairtrade is a simple way to make a difference to the lives of the people who grow the things we love, by changing the way trade works through better prices, decent working conditions and a fair deal for farmers and workers in developing countries.
In order to reassure consumers that this has happened, we license the use of the FAIRTRADE Mark on products and packaging to signal this.
When all the ingredients that can be Fairtrade in a product are, the product carries this Mark.
Companies can choose to source only one ingredient on Fairtrade terms for their ranges, in which case products may carry this Mark:
Buying Fairtrade is easy. There are over 6,000 Fairtrade products some of which are listed below:
- beauty products
- gold and silver
- cold drinks and juice
- herbs and spices
- sweets, snacks and grains
- sugar, preads and oils
So when you shop, look for the FAIRTRADE Mark. If you know of any shop or stores that support and provide Fairtrade products, please let us know at the email below.
We need to renew the Fairtrade status every 2 years so over the coming months we plan to involve Churches and other community organisations to raise awareness even further. We would like to encourage more residents and businesses to become involved.
How can you get involved:
- Add some products with the Fairtrade mark to your weekly shop
- Buy Fairtrade crafts, flowers, wines and luxury foods as gifts
- Ask your local shop to stock a selection of Fairtrade items
- Ask your favourite cafe, restaurant or pub to offer Fairtrade refreshments
- Introduce Fairtrade coffee mornings to your friends, workplace or community group.
- Ask your local Church or community group to include Fairtrade in their sermons or events list. http://www.fairtrade.org.uk/Get-Involved/In-your-community/Faith-Groups
- Join the Fairtrade Steering Group and help promote Fairtrade in our local area
Photo caption: Ards and North Down Fairtrade Steering Group with Hugo Javier Guerrero March 2020
The Fairtrade Foundation provides information about Fairtrade, the Fairtrade mark, Fairtrade products and stockists, please visit https://www.fairtrade.org.uk/ for more information
Ards and North Down Borough Council hold an annual Schools event as part of Fairtrade Fortnight.
The most recent event was hosted in March 2020 by the Council’s Fairtrade Steering Group, approximately 40 schoolchildren and their teachers attended the special event that featured Peru-based coffee farmer, Hugo Javier Guerrero, as the keynote speaker.
Based in the mountainous Piura region of Peru, Guerrero explained the benefits that Fairtrade provides his family business and employees before giving the schoolchildren an opportunity to ask questions.
At the end of the event, each child received a packed goodie bag filled with Fairtrade items that had been donated by Tesco and the St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ Consul General.
Photo caption: Ards and North Down Borough Councils 2020 Fairtrade Schools Event, Attended by Castle Gardens Primary School, Newtownards, Donaghadee Primary School, Kircubbin Integrated Primary School, St Comgalls Primary School, Bangor, St Marys Primary School, Comber and St Patricks Primary School, Portaferry
If your school is interested in becoming a Fairtrade school please visit https://schools.fairtrade.org.uk
Upcoming Fairtrade events
22 February to 7 March 2021 – Coming soon, please visit https://www.fairtrade.org.uk/get-involved/current-campaigns/fairtrade-fortnight/ for more information.