Archive for March, 2015

Fair and Funky schools

To celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight 2015 fairandfunky held their first ever fairandfunky Fairtrade Conference for Schools on Mrch 6th. The conference was fully booked with 80 students and 20 teachers from across Kirklees coming together to celebrate and learn about Fairtrade in creative workshops from Shared Interest, Sea Pie Parcel, Coeur de Xocolat and fairandfunky.

Each student took part in three (out of four!) workshops:

With Sea Pie Parcel children were inspired by images and their Fairtrade story to compose a piece of music using some unusual instruments, including balloons filled with rice and ping pong balls! Each performed their piece to rapturous applause! The images showed an Afghani farmer winnowing wheat, rice fields and a fishing community in the Ganges. To hear their interpretations please listen here:

CYMERA_20150307_091003In a chocolate workshop with Coeur de Xocolat students discovered all about the journey of chocolate from bean to bar, watched a video about life as a cocoa farmer and took part in a chocolate tasting session! And the chocolate theme continued with Shared Interest as students were challenged to create their own design for a new brand of chocolate bar.

In the fairandfunky workshop students were asked to look closely at the Fairtrade Mark: “What do you see?” “What colours can you see?” Through discussion, students discovered that the Fairtrade logo represents the world and the people who live in it. The blue is the sea and sky, the green is the land, and the black is a person with their hand held high. When you see the logo you are reminded to think about the people behind the product, the people who grow our food. With this in mind each child decorated a plant pot with Fairtrade packaging before planting their own seeds.

The teachers also took part in their own workshop with the schools team at the Fairtrade Foundation sharing information on how to become a Fairtrade school, alongside presentations from the Conference Champion sponsors Social Progress, Riasca, Valli Opticians, Suma Wholefoods, Traidcraft and Kip McGrath Education Centres.

The conference came to a close with a very special message from Allan Saidi, a Fairtrade sugar farmer from Malawi. Fairtrade really does make a real difference to the lives of farmers and their communities. Fairtrade guarantees a fair price is paid to farmers. It also pays an added premium to invest in community projects: to build new schools, improve water supplies, invest in school buses, training and education for farmers and their families and more.

It was very moving to hear this first hand from Allan. YOU can listen to his message here:

Each school was presented with a certificate from Jason McCartney MP which read: ‘Congratulations for taking your own little steps to change the world at the fairandfunky Fairtrade Conference for Schools.’

Posted on March 28th, 2015 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

Huddersfield make their Fairtrade pledge at celebration weekend

huddersfield-weekendDuring the middle weekend of Fairtrade Fortnight, Huddersfield Methodist Circuit joined together with Kirklees Fairtrade, Huddersfield Mission and fairandfunky, to organise a Fairtrade Fair and an all-age service celebrating Fairtrade.

At the Fair, open all day on the Saturday, many visitors enjoyed an ethical marketplace browsing 24 stalls showcasing a wide range of fairly traded goods from around the world sold by local businesses. They including a Traidcraft stall from Holmfirth Methodist Church and a Friends of Clem stall, for over 20 years members of the Methodist Church have supported women in Bolivia, through the sale of goods made from the colourful Aguayo cloth. Throughout the day entertainment was provided by a local U3A Choir, Honley Samba Band, Hot Banana Ukulele Band and Choir and Hoot Guitar Orchestra. Children were encouraged to get creative with fairandfunky and become a Fairtrade superhero by making a mask from recycled materials. Fairtrade refreshments were served, of course!

The service on Sunday afternoon was introduced by a local preacher who, after the singing of a “fair trade version” of “We plough the fields and scatter” by Alison Blenkinsop, explained the Circuit’s Fairtrade Pledge and invited the congregation to experience one or more of the stations round the Church. They included making Fairtrade kebabs, creative writing, a Fairtrade prayer labyrinth, Fairtrade DVD clips, a puzzle corner, an information table for resources, creating a giant Fairtrade logo and a presentation explaining the symbols on the Divine chocolate wrappers. The congregation reassembled to make an “origami cross” from a Divine chocolate wrapper and following prayers and a combined commitment for justice and Fairtrade they were led out, holding their crosses, singing “We are marching in the light of God”

The Circuit’s Fairtrade Pledge is an ongoing campaign to raise awareness of Fairtrade in the Huddersfield Methodist Circuit. It has so far been taken by over 170 families. See the Fairtrade Family Pledge here (PDF download).

Posted on March 23rd, 2015 by Fairtrade Yorkshire

One Hull of a Fairtrade City

Nigel Mills, Sharon Clay, Lee-Ann Williams and Chris King of the Hull Fairtrade City Steering Group.

Nigel Mills, Sharon Clay, Lee-Ann Williams and Chris King of the Hull Fairtrade City Steering Group.

Hull Fairtrade City has been going from strength to strength in the past year.  The Fairtrade Steering Group has been successfully relaunched and the city has had its Fairtrade City status renewed with glowing comment from the Fairtrade Foundation.

Hull Fairtrade City enjoys the support of Hull and East Yorkshire Community Foundation, Hull City Council, Hull and East Riding Greenshare Network and the University of Hull.

Coordinator of Fairtrade Hull, Nigel Mills was delighted by the group’s success.  Last year Hull welcomed Fairtrade banana farmer, Aimeth from Columbia, with a school summit at Malet Lambert School and an event at the University of Hull which was attended by the Lord Mayor.  The status renewal form details many exciting plans for the next two years which should see Fairtrade Hull go up to the next level.



Posted on March 15th, 2015 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

Bradford’s Fair College

Bradford College’s Student Parliament has passed a Fairtrade Motion which now sees the college well on its way to gaining Fairtrade College status.

Members of Bradford College Student Union

Members of Bradford College Students’ Union celebrate the successful vote.

This took place on 5th March during Fairtrade Fortnight.

The vote was taken in the college’s new state of the art David Hockney building.  Following the vote, a presentation was given with speeches from the College’s Group Chief Operating Officer, Gareth Osborne and Linda McAvan MEP.  The Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Bradford also attended the presentation.

The Fairtrade Matters film was shown and then questions were taken by the Associate Director of the movie, Andy Powell.

President of the Students' Union, Fatima Sohail, with the Lady Mayoress and Lord Mayor.

President of the Students’ Union, Fatima Sohail, with the Lady Mayoress and Lord Mayor.

Fairtrade Bradford Coordinator, Karen Palframan, gave heartfelt thanks to the college for its support in the promotion of Fairtrade in the city.

For the afternoon of the 5th the Fairtrade Matters movie was shown on the giant screen in the city’s Centenary Square.


Posted on March 15th, 2015 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

Students map Fairtrade

Since February, a small group of final year Theology and Religious Studies students at the University of Leeds have been conducting a research project on “Mapping Fairtrade” in Leeds. They have specifically been looking at Fairtrade activity which is affiliated with religion in some way. The aim of the project is to provide a useful resource to the local community and Fairtrade groups. The research will be published as part of the ongoing “Community Religions Project” at the University of Leeds. Mapping fairtrade logo

On Tuesday 28th April the students are hosting an event to present part of their research, ahead of the release of the completed research paper in late May. Please find the event details below:

Time: Refreshments from 6pm, presentation at 6.30pm. There will be time for questions after the presentation, which is expected to last approximately 30 minutes.

Venue: Maurice Keyworth Building, Seminar Room 1.06 in the Leeds University Business School.

Directions: The Leeds University Business School is located on Moorland Road, where the road meets Clarendon Road.

The main entrance to the Maurice Keyworth Building is on the corner, and has a large glass front with clear signage. Once inside the building, turn right so that you are facing the main reception desk. With the reception desk on your left, walk through the double doors in front of you and up the stairs/lift to the first floor. At the top of the stairs/lift, go through the double doors, turn right and walk through three sets of doors. Room 1.06 will be on your left.

Accessibility: Both the building, and seminar room, are fully wheelchair accessible. Parking on site is only available for disabled persons. On street parking is available in the surrounding area. Alternatively, there is a bus stop outside the entrance to the Maurice Keyworth Building. Walking from the city centre to the Maurice Keyworth Building should take approximately 20 minutes.

Please register your attendance at the event via this link:

Religious mapping of Fairtrade

Posted on March 14th, 2015 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

Holme sweet Holme

Fairtrade Holme Valley enjoyed the sweet taste of success as their new website was launched at a special event on 27th February.  Held at the town’s Soul Kitchen, the web launch was attended by supporters from across the valley.  The event also crossed the political divide with attendance from both Linda McAvan MEP and Jason McCartney MP.

Soulful: Holme folk at the Soul Kitchen

Soulful: Holme folk at the Soul Kitchen

Helen Robinson, Chair of the Fairtrade Group, talked everyone through the new site and spoke of the achievements that have been made in the promotion of Fairtrade in the valley in the past few years.  There has been great success in engaging local businesses and this was evident in Holmfirth during Fairtrade Fortnight when many of the businesses displayed Fairtrade posters.  Some even displayed inflatable Fairtrade bananas, one of which mysteriously disappeared, but following wide media coverage across the Holme Valley was soon recovered.

Check out the Holme Valley website



Posted on March 14th, 2015 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

Simply Divine

Haxby chocolate tasters and the winner of the guess the weight of the Fairtrade chocolate cake competition.

Haxby chocolate tasters and the winner of the ‘guess the weight of the Fairtrade chocolate cake’ competition.

York Fair Trade Forum held a chocolate tasting at the Aroma Fairtrade Cafe in Haxby.  Needless to say, it was very popular.  Attendees at the event on 5th March enjoyed a wide variety of Divine Chocolate products.  Completing tasting notes, the guests had to guess the flavours in the chocolate which ranged from toffee apple, to pear and ginger and even sea salt!  If this were not enough, the Yorkies then enjoyed a vast array of Fairtrade cakes.

The Fairtrade Foundation film, Fairtrade Matters was shown.  Following the lives of tea growers in Malawi, it reminded everyone of the difference that Fairtrade makes to the lives of producers and why its important to buy Fairtrade products and demand that our retailers sell them.

Armonia perform at the Fairtrade Fortnight event at York's City Screen Basement Bar

Armonia perform at the Fairtrade Fortnight event at York’s City Screen Basement Bar

York’s citizens also had a chance to see the film earlier on in Fairtrade Fortnight when an event of “Films, Facts and Fairtrade Fortnight Frivolities” was held at the Basement Bar at the City Screen Cinema. The Tour de Fairtrade Yorkshire film was also shown, between music from The Spectacles, Armonia and Penny and the Poppet and a quiz.

Posted on March 14th, 2015 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

Skipton’s sign of the times

Fairtrade Skipton put up a huge sign to announce Fairtrade Fortnight to the town’s many shoppers.  The banner was hung in front of Holy Trinity church which occupies an elevated position above the High Street; so it was impossible to miss.

On the horizon: Skipton's new banner

On the horizon: Skipton’s new banner

During the Fortnight Skipton’s Fairtrade group held a successful film evening at Skipton Girls’ High School.  ‘The People and the Olive’ a film about Palestinian olive growers was shown, together with the Fairtrade short movie ‘Fairtrade Matters’ which features tea growers from Malawi and how Fairtrade has helped them to improve life in their communities.

Posted on March 14th, 2015 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

Fair University

Roger of the Beehive shop serves customers at the Fair Trade Fair

Roger of the Beehive shop serves customers at the Fair Trade Fair

The University of Leeds held its annual Fair Trade Fair on Tuesday 3rd March in Parkinson Court.  The event was a great success drawing in large numbers of students and staff who were able to sample, and purchase, a wide range of Fair Trade products.  There were stalls from many businesses including the Beehive Shop, Fairer World, Oxfam and Zaytoun, the Fair Trade Palestinian olive and olive oil producers.

Posted on March 14th, 2015 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

Leeds schools give Fairtrade the thumbs up

Leeds-Schools-Conference-2015Children from 22 schools across Leeds came together to lead activities on Fairtrade, Sweatshops and Recycling at a special celebration at Leeds Civic Hall last Friday. The children used Peer Education Toolkits put together by Leeds DEC; activities designed especially for children to lead with other children.

Councillor Jane Dowson and Paul Brennan (Dept Director of Learning, Skills and Universal Services at Leeds City Council) gave out certificates to reward schools for their commitment to learning about global issues, including Fairtrade.

“It was a superb event with children teaching each other about how we are connected to other people around the world, and how buying Fairtrade products ensures that people are paid a fair amount for their work” said organiser Hannah Langdana. “When I asked the teachers what they found useful about the event one of them said ‘the films and peer workshops; showing children in action as agents of change’ ”

One of the children said “I’ve learnt that banana workers only receive 1p out of 30p. I feel glad that there are so many people involved in Fairtrade, and are making things a bit fairer.”

Posted on March 6th, 2015 by Fairtrade Yorkshire