Archive for June, 2016

A tragic loss

Fairtrade Yorkshire mourns the loss of Jo Cox, the MP for Batley and Spen who was killed on Thursday.  Our prayers are with her family.

Batley and Spen was the first Fairtrade Zone to be based on a Parliamentary Constituency and Rev Tina Walker of Fairtrade Batley and Spen has worked closely with Jo Cox on the promotion of Fair Trade in the constituency.

Jo Cox and Rev Tina Walker

Jo Cox and Rev Tina Walker

Here Tina shares here thoughts about Jo:

“Jo Cox tackled difficult issues with passion and conviction.

Jo met people warmly, listened to them, and left them feeling she considered them her friend. She was warm, witty, intelligent, inspiring. She worked very hard for the people in her Constituency here in Batley & Spen, she was well-regarded in Westminster.

She wholeheartedly supported Fairtrade.

I have clear memories of Jo running the Fairtrade Hook-a-Fish Game with us at Batley Festival: totally relaxed and at-home talking with the young children. Also of Jo seeing the Fairtrade stall at Wilton Park, and rushing over to greet us, affirming the work we were doing, and offering to help us, wanting to be part of it.

In February, Jo wrote to every primary school in Batley & Spen, inviting them to the Fairtrade Schools Conference taking place in Fairtrade Fortnight. The Conference took place at the Al-Hikmah Centre in Batley, and Jo presented Fairtrade Certificates and Fairtrade footballs to the 12 schools that took part. Jo invited questions from the schoolchildren and answered them honestly and encouragingly. Jo told the children that she had worked abroad and seen people’s lives over there, and wanted to change lives for the better.Jo roses

Jo was vitally enthusiastic about social justice. She was passionate about equality.”

Jo Cox was committed to international development and upholding human rights.  Before becoming an MP she had been a dedicated worker for Oxfam, helping to see their vision of a world without poverty transformed into policy.  She was passionately concerned about the plight of the people of Syria and worked to ensure that they were not disregarded.

Jo Cox had a vision for a strong Britain.  A Britain which is compassionate and willing to lend a helping hand. Fairtrade is just one of the causes that Jo supported in order that the people of Britain can contribute to the work towards global justice.  Jo’s vision was that Britain should not retreat into introspection but should play its part in the world; working for justice wherever it is needed.  She worked tirelessly for justice in Batley, in Westminster, in her work for Oxfam and called for Britain to play its part in Europe and across the world, helping to make this a fairer world.  Jo will be sadly missed.

Posted on June 18th, 2016 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

Halifax: Agents of Change

Halifax Minster opened its doors to school children from 9 schools across Halifax on Friday 13th May, to celebrate World Fairtrade Day at a fairandfunky Fairtrade Conference for Schools.

The event is part of the campaign, spearheaded by Holly Lynch MP, to achieve Fairtrade Town status for Halifax; “The campaign to make Halifax a Fairtrade town includes our schools,” Holly Lynch MP explains, “the conference was a great way to start conversations with our young people about Fairtrade and how we can give a helping hand, through trade rather than aid, to some of the world’s most vulnerable people.”

Wedding Photography

Agents of change in Halifax Minster

Four different workshops invited delegates to ‘Stand up for farmers and be Agents of Change’ and students spent the day learning about Fairtrade and producers in Ghana, Columbia and Bolivia.

With Pockets Theatre students used dramatic performance to explore the affect of supermarket price wars on banana producers. Each child took part in short role-play provoking an emotional response to Fairtrade; discovering the power of the consumer.

In the fairandfunky workshop delegates were taken on a journey from bean to bar – discovering life as a cocoa farmer in Ghana and how important Fairtrade is to their community. Participants also learnt how to use ALL their senses to ‘taste’ delicious Divine Chocolate.

“I learnt that Fairtrade is very important and benefits farmers globally.” Charlotte

“I learnt that Fairtrade is good thing and that everyone can benefit, more people should be involved!” Matthew

With Liberation Nuts students learnt lots of interesting facts about nuts, the people who farm them, and discovered that Brazil nuts actually come from Bolivia!

In the Sea Pie Parcel workshop students learnt a specially written song for the conference: ‘Be An Agent For Change’ and composed their own pieces inspired by Fairtrade products. At the end of the day ALL students gathered to sing together in the beautiful setting of the Minster. To hear all compositions and the song please listen here:

The conference closed with certificate presentations from Holly Lynch MP who encouraged delegates to continue taking their own little steps to change the world with Fairtrade. And each student AND teacher left with a Fairtrade goody bag filled with treats from Divine Chocolate, Tropical Wholefoods, Liberation Nuts and smoothies from Natural Beverages Comapany – aiming to keep Fairtrade conversations going back at school and at home.

“An informative, enjoyable and interesting day, thank you!” Barkisland Primary School.

The conference also links local businesses with Fairtrade, welcoming Suma Wholefoods as a Conference Partner, “We strongly believe in Fairtrade at Suma and we’re keen to help spread the word so were delighted with the opportunity to support the fairandfunky conference and educate the young of Calderdale.” Nigel Kaye, Co-op member at Suma Wholefoods.


Posted on June 11th, 2016 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News