Celebrating a Milestone for Fairtrade in Skipton

Skipton’s Fairtrade group and Fairtrade businesses celebrate renewing Skipton’s Fairtrade Town status.

It’s nine years since Skipton Fairtrade Initiative formed and since then the group has gained Fairtrade Town status by achieving the five statutory goals, and renewed the status three times, most recently just a few weeks ago. Keeping the campaign momentum going was challenging during the pandemic so the renewal had definitely to be celebrated in style. Breakfast at Tiffany’s became breakfast at Elsworth Kitchen!

Members of the town’s Fairtrade group and representatives from two of the three Fairtrade businesses based in Skipton, and the Councillor member of the Embsay with Eastby Fairtrade Village group, were able to join in. On the menu were Fairtrade tea and coffee and delicious banana pancakes- the bananas were grown in the Dominican Republic, the world’s second largest producer of Fairtrade bananas, where fair prices and the Fairtrade Premium have transformed communities. In the words of Ramon Vargas, a small scale producer there, “Being part of this system means that I’ve been able to make my banana business profitable. This is because Fairtrade enables me to sell all my fruit at a fair price, throughout the year. Fairtrade has also helped the community by providing health insurance for farmers and their families”. After the pancakes sampling the new range of Fairtrade chocolates from Whitakers was an added bonus.

Working with Namaste, who are wholesalers and retailers of fairly traded home accessories, furnishings, furniture, gifts, incense, clothing, accessories, and jewellery, based at the Mill in Marton Street; Whitakers Chocolates, a family firm since 1889; From the Source, an ethical Fair Trade importer wholesaler and retailer with a shop on Coach Street; and the Manageress of the town’s general OXFAM shop meant, in the words of the Fairtrade Foundation (the awarding body), the renewal application ‘exceeded expectations’. The Fairtrade group were also praised and congratulated on their work with Skipton and Craven schools and other organisations in the town, e.g. Skipton Library.

Two former town councillors have been active and enthusiastic members of the Fairtrade group since its inception and this support has been much appreciated. Sadly one of them Alan Hickman died before this latest renewal came through. The second, Eric Jaquin, continues to be part of the group. The new Town Council representatives are Cllr Claire Nash and Cllr Winston Feather.

Future events being planned for the autumn are a Whitakers Chocolate and Fairtrade Wine tasting evening at Elsworth Kitchen, activities for all age groups during the Great Big Green Week between 24th and 2nd October, and pop up Fairtrade stalls. Acquiring Fairtrade Town signs before the end of this year is the main objective.

If anyone would like to help out on an occasional basis with events or join the Skipton Fairtrade Initiative please email liz at cravendec.org.uk  It’s a small, friendly and lively group.

Posted on July 30th, 2022 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

Chocolate Tea Party

Posted on June 21st, 2022 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

Walk the Fair Trade Way

Posted on June 21st, 2022 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

Alan Hickman – Skipton’s Fairtrade Stalwart

We were very sad to hear of the passing of Fairtrade stalwart Alan Hickman.

Liz Roodhouse of the Skipton Fairtrade Initiative, describing Alan as ‘wonderful’ commented: “He will be missed in the town and we shall certainly miss his wisdom, passion and support for all things Fairtrade.”

Mark Dawson of Fairtrade Yorkshire stated: “Fairtrade could never have made the impact it has without the tireless work of people like Alan Hickman. He was an incredibly principled person but also good fun with a well developed sense of humour. I liked him a lot.”

Alan was part of the original group which worked for Skipton to gain Fairtrade status. He played a full role in the Fairtrade Initiative Group including supporting Fairtrade in the town when he entered politics and sat on the Town Council.

Alan and Marie in Salvation Army uniforms at Fair Trade craft wholesalers ‘Namaste’, based in Skipton.

Alan was a passionate man of faith and, he and his beloved wife Marie, proudly sported their Salvation Army uniforms on many occasions in the life of the town. Alan closely linked his Christian faith with the action for justice that he carried out, including his work for Fair Trade. He saw that faith was made real in the act of doing something to correct injustice and in showing love to our neighbours.

Marie and Alan at the Mayor Making ceremony

In addition to his work for Fairtrade, Alan was involved in many projects in Skipton, including running a Pensioners’ luncheon club with his wife Marie, campaigning on political issues dear to his heart and working on the Town Council, where he was much liked and appreciated by political allies and opponents. In 2018 he was made Mayor of Skipton, a post in which he excelled, promoting the town and just causes including Fairtrade.

We at Fairtrade Yorkshire would like to express out heartfelt thanks for all of Alan’s work to stand alongside marginalised producers and call for justice in our broken trade system. God bless you Alan.

Posted on May 8th, 2022 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

Schools in Craven and Harrogate show their passion for Fairtrade and environmental issues in Fairtrade Fortnight

Richard Taylor School Harrogate

At Greatwood and Water Street primary schools in Skipton, children wrote messages on leaves to world leaders and politicians explaining why it is important for them to keep their promises made at COP26. These were hung on guards around young trees on Skipton High Street setts during Fairtrade Fortnight.

Greatwood Primary School messages

At Cononley Primary School and Richard Taylor School in Harrogate the children made heart-shaped pledges which were later made into badges and fridge magnets. A huge heart and smaller hearts showed children’s love for people and the planet.

Fairtrade arts – Cononley

The Fairtrade Fortnight competition for schools this year was to create a rap, a poem or piece of art to inspire others to choose a world where farmers and workers are treated fairly and the planet we share is cared for and protected. It attracted over fifty entries and was sponsored by Fairtrade Yorkshire who provided Skipton Fairtrade with a grant to cover the cost of prizes.

See more for the winning entries:

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on May 7th, 2022 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

Chocolate Has A Name

Africaniwa, based in Halifax, have launched a fundraiser to provide chocolate making equipment for the next generation in Ghana.

Africaniwa are working with partners on the ground in Ghana – Cocoa360, the Tarkwa Breman girls school and Dekocraft, a chocolate maker in Accra, to deliver a syllabus that incorporates training in chocolate making to teachers and pupils. The children will learn the history of cocoa growing in Ghana, the nutritional properties, and how the pods they see growing all around them are transformed into a delicious treat sold the world over. This will be a history lesson, a geography lesson, a home economics lesson and a business studies lesson. They will connect with cocoa and chocolate, make their own delicious treat and learn how to add value to the farming life that is their legacy.

If you would like to contribute to the crowdfunder click here:

Africaniwa crowdfunder

Posted on March 20th, 2022 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

Fair Trade Forum at the University of Bradford

Tuesday 1 March University of Bradford Sustainability Society held an open forum attended by more than 40 students, staff and visitors. Professor P B Anand led the introductions which revealed the diversity of interested people who were there to learn more about Fairtrade, with some expressing the hope they could take back this information to their home countries. Many of these are low-income countries, some of which already have International Fairtrade operating there.

Bubotu Hachitapika, President of Sustainability Society, said, “There was another short presentation made by a visiting PhD student from Uganda about a cooperative of farmers in Uganda that works with Fairtrade and the benefits they have gained from working with them.  He also highlighted that they produce vanilla and some of this is used in the famous Ben and Jerrys ice cream.”

These additional discussion points touched on difficult questions which will remain as items on the agenda of the Fairtrade movement:

·        how to increase Fairtrade’s reach to poorer farmers in rural areas

·        the cost of joining Fairtrade for a farmer

·        the need to increase awareness about the work Fairtrade does

·        the importance of knowing where our food comes from (general public)

·        how to encourage more big companies to use Fairtrade products

·        the importance of encouraging farmers to diversify crops grown


Posted on March 20th, 2022 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

Big Brew in Bradford

Sunday 27 at Bradford Cathedral a Big Brew was held to raise funds for Traidcraft Exchange, an organisation supporting producers in low-income countries.  This event took place after morning service and was well attended.  Fairtrade drinks were served with a range of cakes and biscuits while instructive films about Fairtrade producers were screened.  A group of students from Bradford University Fairtrade Group were also at this well-attended event.

Posted on March 20th, 2022 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

Baildon buzz at Farmers’ Market

Saturday 26 at Baildon Farmers’ Market there was constant buzz around the Fairtrade stall run by members from Baildon Methodist Church.  They sold plenty of stock and were asked if they would be back at the next market.  This stall is run at Baildon Methodist Church once every month.  At the same time Baildon Fairtrade Group volunteers engaged with shoppers and distributed over 200 coasters and Fairtrade information.  The group also signed up 4 more people interested to share in their activities.

Posted on March 20th, 2022 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

Co-operative flowers and a flurry of Fairtrade info

Fairtrade display at Northgate Co-op Baildon staffed by Fairtrade supporters Barbara Judd, Shipley, and Mike de Villiers, Baildon.  A selection of Fairtrade products was on show with Fairtrade flowers styled by Emma’s florist, Baildon.  Over 100 leaflets and pieces of information have been distributed to the public today as well as having a number of more detailed discussions with interested people.

Posted on March 20th, 2022 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News