Archive for March, 2017

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

Busy Fairtrade Fortnight in Penistone

The Mad Hatter’s skating tea party at Penistone Leisure Centre.

Here’s a roundup of Fairtrade Fortnight events in the bustling market town of Penistone.

Monday 27 February marks the tenth anniversary since Penistone became a Fairtrade Town.  Joy was interviewed about Fairtrade by Steve Dobson on Penistone FM.

Tuesday 28 February – a coffee morning in Penistone Library.  Friends from St Andrew’s Church made the cakes and served the visitors with free cups of Fairtrade coffee or tea.  Three town/borough councillors were among the many visitors.

On the two Thursdays we offered passers-by a free taster of Co-op’s own Fairtrade chocolate.  The servers were students from the Be Proud committee at Penistone Grammar School.

Carolyn Morris was behind her regular weekly Fairtrade stall at the Country Market in St John’s Community Centre, and St John’s Church hosted the regular Thursday and Saturday coffee mornings serving Fairtrade products.

Heather and Benji outside the Cherrydale Restaurant

Friday 3 March – a Divine Chocolate evening at St John’s Community Centre, supported by a generous grant from Penistone Town Council. David Greenwood-Haigh advised a packed hall how to properly taste chocolate (from a tasting board) and then demonstrated how to make a delicious rhubarb and chocolate tart.  Then Carolyn and Ian Morris closed the evening with an illustrated talk about the cocoa producers they had visited in Ghana.

On the Thursday and Saturday mornings we showcased the range of Fairtrade goods on sale at Tesco.  Angela Smith MP was one of the many visitors.  The volunteers were members from the Penistone churches.


Posted on March 29th, 2017 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

Pre school break

During Fairtrade Fortnight, pre school children in Cherry Burton enjoyed their Fairtrade break.  Ros Stanley, from Cherry Burton Fairtrade Village steering group, spoke to the children and pre-school leader Claire Newton dressed in a Fairtrade banana suit.  Dave represented Tesco, who donated Fairtrade bananas for the break.

Posted on March 29th, 2017 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

Fairtrade Fortnight in Bradford Zone


Baildon Co-op, Northgate, hosted a Fairtrade stall to display Fairtrade items on sale in the store.  Customers were encouraged to try a different Fairtrade tea selected from Assam, Indian Prince and English Breakfast; all stocked by the Co-op.  The manager, Mark Millman, has also made up a hamper of Fairtrade goods as the prize for a quiz open to all, the winner being announced at the end of the Fortnight. 

Six pupils from Baildon Church of England Primary School assisted on the stall during the afternoon, enthusiastically engaging people in conversations about Fairtrade and justice.  They were also taken on a tour of the store to see what Fairtrade products were available and asked questions about why certain items were not Fairtrade certified. Their teacher, Mrs F Wilkinson, said that the children had enjoyed a stimulating afternoon.  The school is working towards Fairtrade status and hosted a Fairtrade Coffee Morning on Friday 10th March for parents/carers of children in Year 5.  The children had baked Fairtrade goodies, and were very keen to explain Fairtrade to the adults who attended.

Bradford Cathedral

On Sunday March 5th, approximately 40 adults and children enjoyed a Fairtrade Breakfast at Bradford Cathedral, during Fairtrade Fortnight. their children to school. We enjoyed a breakfast that included Fairtrade muesli, jam, marmalade, chocolate spread, homemade muffins, tea, coffee, hot chocolate and orange juice. At the same time, we gave our support to local businesses by enjoying locally produced bread, butter, honey and milk. In the service that followed the Breakfast, the children led the prayers, ‘that those who teach about justice and trading in our schools may look for new ways to share their interest in breaking the cycle of poverty so that children will know about the need for fairness in trade’.


Ilkley Fairtrade Group members and Ilkley Oxfam Manager with the Sanctuary’s window

Over the last few weeks, the Sanctuary team in Ilkley, including artist Barbara Macnish, have been pouring hours into preparing what we think may even be the world’s first piece of art painted on tea-bags! It was all done for love; we wanted to help thousands of people think about the people who really bring them their tea, and to consider choosing Fairtrade as a result.


Posted on March 29th, 2017 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

Banana army storms Honley

MASSIVE thank you to all the shops and businesses who welcomed the Holme Valley Fairtrade Banana Army during Fairtrade Fortnight!

We were delighted to spot Fairtrade products in many places around Honley and Holmfirth and we hope we’ve inspired people to make a switch to Fairtrade.

Thank you to Sandie Nicholson for being the official photographer in Honley!

Posted on March 29th, 2017 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News