Baildon Town renewed

The Fairtrade Foundation has renewed Baildon’s Fairtrade Town status.  Baildon has been a Fairtrade Town for 12 years.  In a letter to the Fairtrade Baildon, Adam Gardener of the Fairtrade Foundation said: “We would like to pass on our congratulations and say thank you to everyone who has been involved.  The collaborations with groups such as Friends of the Earth enables you to hold larger events and it was wonderful to see that you managed to raise £160 for Traidcraft Exchange thanks to the generosity of the Co-op and all those involved in the Breakfast. We are really impressed with the clear effort and dedication the town has put in to continually raise awareness and spread information about Fairtrade and to stock Fairtrade goods and products as much as possible.”

Fairtrade Baildon: ready for the Tour de Yorkshire outside St James church

Fairtrade Baildon hit national and international media during the Tour de Yorkshire this year.  Their striking banner was visible as the competing cyclists sped through the town, leading the BBC and other networks to comment on its message to ‘end the cycle of poverty: choose Fairtrade.’



Posted on August 10th, 2017 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

Trade renegotiation threats

The renegotiation of Britain’s trade agreements will be an extremely difficult process which is likely to stretch out over the next five years and more.  Those of us who have campaigned on trade issues realise that although this may offer some opportunities there are also immense threats.  Bi-lateral trade agreements have in the past resulted in the collapse of whole industries and sectors of agriculture.

Sylvia of York Fair Trade Forum backs Global Justice Now


Powerful trading nations, such as the USA, can insist that the UK turn its back on traditional trade with developing nations; leading to the loss of livelihoods for some of the world’s poorest communities.

Trade negotiations are closely linked to livelihoods.  Jobs both in the UK and overseas are on the line.  That is why we support the campaign by Global Justice Now to introduce democratic accountability for trade deals.

Global Justice Now refer to the intended process of trade renegotiation as ‘Dangerous Deals Being Done in the Dark.’  They call for Parliament and ordinary citizens to be involved in the process.  Given these are the most important decisions affecting our country’s future in a generation, it is unacceptable that trade deals be conducted in secret.  MPs need to be informed about the direction of any trade deals and their constituents should have the right to be involved in a democratic process.

There is mounting concern regarding trade negotiations with the USA which could result in a “taking away of control” on a wide variety of issues such as who else we choose to trade with and environmental, labour and health standards.

Say no to secret trade deals destroying livelihoods.  Back Global Justice Now.

Posted on August 10th, 2017 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

20 years of Namaste

Sam and Rachel Brummitt of Namaste and Jhaindra Ghimire (centre).

This year the Fair Trade wholesaler and retailer, Namaste are celebrating 20 years in business.  On 17th July an event was held at the company’s Skipton head office and show rooms.  Staff, customers, Fair Trade supporters and Namaste well-wishers were all invited.  Guest of honour was the long-standing clothing supplier from Nepal, Jhaindra Ghimire.  Jhaindra is from Sujha Traders and Exports and is a member of Fair Trade Group Nepal.

The Chief Executive of Child Rescue Nepal, Jo Bego also attended and gave a presentation on the work of the charity, which Namaste has supported for over 15 years.  Child Rescue frees children from slavery.  In Nepal there are 100,000 children who are working in extremely hazardous situations and suffer frequent physical and emotional abuse.  The charity works with local police to free children from the workplaces where they are being held captive and then supports those children, where possible reuniting them with their families.

Rachel Brummitt, owner and a company director talked of the history of Namaste:

“Namaste, simply translated as ‘Welcome’ in Nepal, was the result of an inspirational year of travel to Nepal & India.  The idea for the business developed through meeting people making crafts for a living.   We still remember our first products arriving on the farm where we had our first barn warehouse, complete with chickens and wellies.  Development from then on has been organic growth over the years.

Our philosophy is simple, fairly traded products which celebrate the very best of traditional handmade skills.   We offer an extensive range including gifts, home accessories, furnishings, furniture, clothing & accessories, jewellery and incense, fairly traded from the far corners of the world.

Back row from left: Alan Hickman (Fairtrade Skipton), Rachel Brummitt, Marie Hickman (Fairtrade Skipton), Susan Radford (director), Jhaindra Ghimire and Jo Bego. Front: Sam and John Brummitt (directors).


We are a small company with a strong ethical policy based upon the belief that the best way to reduce poverty in the developing world is through trade.  We have helped over 100 producers to grow and develop with us since we started trading 20 years ago.  Namaste is recognised by BAFTS, the British Association of Fair Trade Shops and Suppliers as a Fair Trade importer.”

Following the presentations guests could browse the vast range of Namaste products and help the company celebrate by joining in the feast, which included Nepalese curries and a traditional Yorkshire high tea.

Namaste have a large showroom in Skipton or you can visit them online

Posted on July 28th, 2017 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

The fairandfunky Fairtrade Football Fun Day Honley High School – July 6th 2017

The fairandfunky Fairtrade Football Fun Day welcomed Primary Schools from across Kirklees to Honley High School for an afternoon of football and Fairtrade focussed games, activities and co-operative learning.

All fairandfunky workshops encourage participants to look at the world around them and empower people of all ages with the knowledge that their actions can make a difference. This event focussed on Fairtrade, and students discovered throughout the event that you can make a difference with Fairtrade even as you play football!

All students were able to recognise the Fairtrade mark and spoke confidently about how

Fairtrade guarantees a fair price is paid to farmers. But how can a football be Fairtrade? It doesn’t grow on a farm?!

“It’s all about the people. That’s why. The Fairtrade mark shows a person, its paying people properly that makes a football Fairtrade.” Student from Wilberlee J&I School

Workshops led by fairandfunky enabled students to meet the people in Pakistan who make Fairtrade footballs for Bala Sports UK. They discovered that over 700 stitches go in to 1 football, and that the balls are stitched by hand, taking 4 hours to make. Students discovered the difference Fairtrade has made to communities; with Fairtrade premiums being invested in water sanitation and free eye tests.

Throughout the event students played football with balls made especially for fairandfunky, in Pakistan. It was very exciting to know exactly where the balls were from, and who made them!

With Nigel from Suma Wholefoods students played a game of ‘Un-fair football’ – the rules kept changing and it was only when the team played co-operatively together could they achieve success. Project Sport taught tricks for successful keepy-uppys and volunteers from Camira Fabrics held a ‘Beat The Banana Goalie’ competition! Successful goal scorers were rewarded with a fruit kebab thanks to Holmfirth Coop.

Children all over the world play football, but not everyone is able to afford to buy their own, so what do they use? They make their own footballs using rubbish! Students had a go at making their own football from plastic bags, newspaper and string. They soon discovered how hard it was, and spent time thinking about how hard people work to make the footballs they’d all been playing with. It’s important that workers are paid fairly, especially when you consider the amount of money generated in playing football. It’s time to play fair.

And that’s what all the schools who took part will be able to do. Thanks to sponsorship from Suma Wholefoods each school will be presented with Fairtrade footballs made especially for them – to play fair, and think fair.

Posted on July 24th, 2017 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

Massive risk in the rush to negotiate “Brexit”

Mark Dawson, Coordinator of Fairtrade Yorkshire comments: “Trade negotiations are all about livelihoods.  Britain is renegotiating all its trading relationships and this brings risk.  Risk that sectors of industry and agriculture, both in the UK and overseas, will be damaged and livelihoods lost.”

The Fairtrade Foundation is asking everyone who is concerned about the livelihoods of those producers across the globe who depend on British trade, to contact their MP’s.

Take action now

There is a massive risk that in the rush to negotiate “Brexit”, vulnerable and voiceless farmers and workers from the poorest countries could be forgotten.

Too often in the past, changes to trade rules and new trade deals have harmed not helped the poorest people who work hard to grow the food we love. We need to manage risks such as:

  • Leaving the EU’s single market and customs area without putting in place measures similar to the ones which currently protect farmers in the poorest developing countries. Doing this would immediately punish millions of farmers and workers with an extra £1 billion import tax bill.
  • Rushing into free trade agreements with wealthier countries such as the US, China and Brazil without ensuring that these deals won’t undercut very poor countries which depend on the UK for much of their sales.

Many of us will remember the large trade campaigns of the past and so are aware of the immense damage that can be done by ill thought out trade agreements.  It is very disappointing that there has not been a public debate around trade issues either in the run up to the referendum or in its aftermath.   The hurried nature of discussion in the UK Parliament, undermines the ability of the UK public to hold their elected representatives to account in the trade negotiation process.

For the Fair Trade movement, secrecy and lack of any real democratic accountability regarding our trade negotiations is not on.  We welcome the reinvigoration of a large scale movement for trade justice: dedicated to protecting livelihoods in the UK and for producers across the globe who rely on UK trade.

Make no mistake, millions of livelihoods, both in the UK and overseas, are at risk in the renegotiation of the UK’s trade agreements.  Don’t leave the decisions to the few, who will protect the sectors of the economy that they are interested in, at the expense of everyone else.



Posted on March 29th, 2017 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

It’s a Gooooooooooaaaaaaaaal!

Burley Trojans under 10’s and their Bala football.

Bradford Fairtrade Zone has been busy raising awareness of Bala Fairtrade footballs by presenting footballs to a local school and several football teams in the Wharfe and Aire valleys.

Ilkley Town Veterans, Wharfedale Strollers walking footballers, Burley Trojans Under 10’s, Keighley walking footballers, and Burley and Woodhead Church of England Primary School made immediate use of their new footballs.

Karen Palframan, chair of Bradford Fairtrade Zone, showed the Burley and Woodhead School Council the latest Fairtrade Foundation football resource for schools, which follows the manufacturing process of Bala footballs in Sialkot, Pakistan, where 70% of the world’s hand stitched footballs are produced. Sialkot produces some 40 million footballs in an average year!

The children learned how Fairtrade helps to ensure that the workers are paid a fair wage, have safe working conditions and that there is no child labour. They also learned about some of the projects that the Bala workers have spent their Fairtrade premium funds on, which include eye tests and two community water filtration plants.

The School Council decided to organise an assembly about Fairtrade footballs and will use this activity to help the school on its journey to gain full Fairtrade school status. It gained ‘FairAware’ school status in January, and the staff have swapped over to using Fairtrade tea and coffee.



Posted on March 29th, 2017 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

How Fair is Fair Trade?

The panel: Charlotte, Mark, Anne, Amrisha and Francis.

During Fairtrade Fortnight the University of Leeds organised a debate entitled ‘How Fair is Fair Trade?’ which took place on 9th March.

Speakers included Dr Anne Tallontire who is a leading authority on the practice of Fair Trade and Mark Dawson, a PhD researcher who is looking at church support for Fair Trade in the UK.  They were joined on the panel by Amrisha Pandey and Francis Okanigbuan, from the University’s School of Law and Charlotte Scott, a fashion entrepreneur.

Bev Kenny, Head of Catering and Conferencing hosted the event which was organised by the sustainability team at the university.

Debate organisers George Middlemiss and Ope Adegbulu

There was a lively question and answer session with focus on the environmental credentials of Fair Trade and how it can fit into a sustainability agenda.  The debate ended with comments as to the importance of changing hearts and minds in order to raise support for social justice and environmental action.



Posted on March 29th, 2017 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

Marks and Sparks back Fairtrade

M&S staff and Fairtrade supporters at Broadway Bradford.

Marks and Spencer backed Fairtrade during Fairtrade Fortnight by sponsoring events in Bradford, Keighley and Leeds.

Leeds shoppers were treated to food tasting in the city’s swish Trinity Centre.  At state of the art shopping centre Broadway, Bradford folk were able to take a Fairtrade break and relax for a hand massage, before tasting Fairtrade goodies from M&S.  They were joined by the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of the city who enjoyed the hand massages using Fairtrade body butter.  Keighley town centre was also all abuzz thanks to the M&S roadshow.

Joan and Cynthia at Leeds Trinity.

Fairtrade break for the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Bradford.


Posted on March 29th, 2017 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

There’s even more to Morley

There’s even more to appreciate about the vibrant West Riding town of Morley now that it has embarked on the path to become a Fairtrade Town.

Councillor Neil Dawson put forward a resolution to be adopted by Morley Town Council at its meeting on 1 March 2017.

It was agreed unanimously by the Town Council that Morley would set up a steering group and become a Fairtrade Town.

Morley Town Council resolves to:

•  offer FAIRTRADE Marked food and drink options internally and make them available for Town Council events.

• Promote the FAIRTRADE Mark using Fairtrade Foundation materials in refreshment areas and promoting the Fairtrade Towns initiative in internal and communications and external newsletters

• Use influence to urge local retailers to provide Fairtrade options for residents

• Use influence to urge local business to offer Fairtrade options to their staff and promote the FAIRTRADE Mark internally

• Engage in a media campaign to publicise the Fairtrade Towns initiative

• Support the  Fairtrade Steering Group and support ongoing work to promote Fairtrade

• Support  events and publicity during national Fairtrade Fortnight – the annual national campaign to promote sales of products with the FAIRTRADE Mark.

Councillor Dawson said: “‘It is great that we are taking steps to achieve Fairtrade town status. This movement is making a huge difference to many people across the world and this will show that taking action in Morley can have an impact around the globe, and that we can influence the world trading system”.

“The strength of Fairtrade Towns is that they involve the whole community. They are not just about the council, the churches, the schools or businesses but about all these and more. Fairtrade Towns bring people together and increase understanding of how small actions add up to make a big difference to the lives of people thousands of miles away”.

Posted on March 29th, 2017 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

Twin events draw the crowds in York

Kathryn Tissiman and the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress.

Two major events to promote Fairtrade Fortnight in York drew in the crowds.

The Women in Fairtrade Coffee Tasting event went very well at York St John University, with plenty of passers-by enjoying a coffee sample and a bit of Fairtrade baking. A big thank you to Sue and her team at York St John for planning and hosting another interesting and varied Fairtrade Fortnight programme at the University.  At the event Kathryn Tissiman of York Fairtrade City Steering Group presented the certificate of the renewal of Fairtrade City status to the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of York.

SUSY event: This speaker event at the Friends’ Meeting House was very well attended. Our speakers, Veena from India and Manal from Palestine certainly held our attention; it was fascinating to hear about the challenges and rewards of Fairtrade production in two very different producer environments.  Veena spoke about her research into Co-operatives working in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands – this is mainly coconut farming but also takes in all aspects of island life including education, construction and healthcare.  It was good to learn more about the SUSY (Sustainable and Solidarity Economy) project too – a very encouraging and exciting new initiative supporting more sustainable trade.

At the SUSY event: Ashraf Hamad; Manal Ramadan from Zaytoun; Kathryn Tissiman; Helen Harrison; Veena Nabar; Pam Hanley; Natalie Bradbury.

However we were saddened and angered that the two women who were meant to be visiting us from Palestine – Bassema, olive farmer with Zaytoun, and her translator Lamis – were unable to come and address the meeting in person due to the last-minute Home Office refusal of their visas. We feel that the reasons given for refusal were spurious and patronizing, and the women were very shabbily treated by being given no opportunity to resubmit their applications. Despite the fact that the decision to refuse them was made more than a month before their travel dates, the women were not told until a couple of days beforehand, and their attempts to get information in time were constantly thwarted. This is not the first example of Palestinians finding it extremely difficult to travel to the UK for trading purposes. Here is the link to Zaytoun’s website for ways you can protest about this decision: php and see below for an email/letter text you can adapt and send to your MP and to the Minister for Immigration.

Posted on March 29th, 2017 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News