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.