Archive for 2018

Boost for Fairtrade Yorkshire

The Yorkshire Fairtrade Supporter Conference provided a boost for Fairtrade campaigning in the region. Held at the University of Leeds on 22nd September, attendees were able to learn of the huge amount of activity that was taking place to promote Fairtrade across Yorkshire.

Some of the conference attendees at the University of Leeds

Speakers included: rice farmers from Malawi, Webster Kita and Howard Msukwa; Linda McAvan MEP; Professor Bob Doherty, trustee of the Fairtrade Foundation; Fairtrade Yorkshire Coordinator, Mark Dawson; and Head of Campaigns at the Fairtrade Foundation, Kevin McCullough.

Workshops were held on: the latest developments in Fairtrade, working with social media, ideas for introducing Fairtrade to young people and Fairtrade in places of worship.

Mark Dawson was elected as the new National Campaigner Committee member representing Yorkshire. He paid tribute to the work of his predecessor, Karen Palframan.

With the addition this year of Fairtrade Embsay with Eastby, there are now 38 Fairtrade places across Yorkshire. In recent years new active Fairtrade groups have been established in Morley, a faiths group in Hull, a renewed group in Sheffield and, two years ago, Halifax achieved Fairtrade Town status.

Rev Matt Wright of Lister Hill Baptist, Horsforth, addresses the places of worship workshop

Posted on September 30th, 2018 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

Tour success for rice farmers

The Yorkshire tour of Malawian rice farmers, Webster Kita and Howard Msukwa, was a great success.  Webster and Howard visited Ilkley, Leeds, Sheffield, Skipton and York and spoke of the issues affecting farmers in Malawi. In Skipton they were given a civic reception from Town Mayor, Alan Hickman. Webster and Howard addressed hundreds of people across their tour and told of the difference their trading partnership with Just Trading Scotland (JTS) has made to the lives of farmers and their families.

Howard and Webster (holding bags of rice) at an event organised by the Fairer World shop in York

Canon John Riches of JTS, who accompanied Webster and Howard, pointed out that although JTS provides some impetus for the farmers, it is the farmers themselves who have created innovative and efficient ways of working in order to face the future. As Webster and Howard explain: ‘the future belongs to the organised.’

Webster and Howard produce the renowned Kilombero rice, regarded as one of the finest available for purchase in the UK. See the JTS online shop.

JTS has challenged schools, as well as churches, colleges and other organisations, to sell 90kg of rice – the amount of rice sold that would enable a Malawian farmer to pay for a year’s basic secondary education for one child.

Click here for more details: 90kg rice challenge

Posted on September 30th, 2018 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

Drizzle doesn’t deter scarecrow fans

On Saturday 8th September, hundreds of visitors walked round the centre of Baildon, on a drizzly wet day, looking at scarecrows on a theme of Literary Characters. Most children recognised Charlie who stood by a Fairtrade Chocolate Factory, replete with tall mill chimney. They, and their families, were offered Divine Fairtrade Chocolate samples, which were very well received. In all, 520 chocolates were handed out, mainly to the children, suggesting a figure of around 800 visitors who interacted with members of Baildon Fairtrade Group who braved the weather to introduce Charlie.

Posted on September 30th, 2018 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

Halifax celebrates

On 7th September a celebration was held at Halifax Town Hall to mark the renewal of Halifax’s Fairtrade Town status. Halifax has now been a Fairtrade Town for two years. During that time Fairtrade activity has expanded to include many different sectors of life in the town including: the Piece Hall, Halifax Minster, many local schools, community groups and employers.

Halifax MP, Holly Lynch spoke at the event, as did the Coordinator of Fairtrade Yorkshire, Mark Dawson. Mark thanked Holly and Adam Wilkinson for the work that they had put in to ensure that Halifax Fairtrade Town was such a success. Other attendees included: the Mayor and Mayoress of Halifax and the Leader and the CEO of Calderdale Council.

The Mayor and Mayoress of Halifax with the Fairtrade Town renewal certificate

Posted on September 30th, 2018 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

MEP meets Fairtrade guests at the European Parliament

In June Mark Dawson, Coordinator of Fairtrade Yorkshire, visited the European Parliament in Brussels to learn of the work of the European Parliament Fairtrade Group.  The group has successfully raised awareness of Fairtrade amongst MEP’s and other areas of the governance of the European Union.

Coordinator of Fairtrade Yorkshire, Mark Dawson and Linda McAvan MEP.

Yorkshire MEP, Linda McAvan who established the Fairtrade Group, explained that she is working to ensure that a strong Fairtrade Group continues once she, and other British MEPs, no longer have a seat in the Parliament. There are Fairtrade allies from across the EU, who can ensure that Fairtrade will be respected in the EU’s trading agreements.

Linda McAvan also played host to Fairtrade producer, Fortin Bley.

Fortin, a cocoa producer from Côte d’Ivoire, told the European Parliament Fairtrade Group how the money raised through his Fairtrade cooperative was used to build a school in his village, meaning that his daughters no longer have to walk 8km each way to get to school.

In less than 6 years, participation in Fairtrade schemes across Côte d’Ivoire has gone from 9000 participants to an estimated 160,000 agricultural workers. Mr Bley switched to Fairtrade because it means a guaranteed price for his cocoa and a range of other benefits, including more control of the use of pesticides and working conditions in general.

He also spoke about how women farmers were being given a voice through the scheme and access to maternity care and other rights. The new school was built using the Fairtrade premium which is paid into a community fund controlled by the members of the cooperative.

This is why schemes like Fairtrade are so vital, they not only safeguard employment but provide a future for the entire community.

Fortin Bley is the President of the CANN Cocoa Cooperative in Côte d’Ivoire and the Chair of the Fairtrade Western Africa Network.

Posted on July 9th, 2018 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

Fairtrade County renewed

The East Riding has renewed its status as a Fairtrade county, helping to improve the lives of farmers and workers in the developing world.

The Fairtrade status has been renewed until 2020 thanks to the work of the Fairtrade East Riding Network (FERN), an active voluntary group of which East Riding of Yorkshire Council is a member. FERN works across the East Riding to develop awareness of, and support for, Fairtrade.

Catherine Greenaway, John Turner, Jackson Sage, Councillor Andy Burton and Margaret Knapton with the East Riding’s Fairtrade County Certificate

Issued by the Fairtrade Foundation, the renewal of this status recognises FERN’s ongoing efforts to promote Fairtrade to residents, businesses and schools within the local authority area.

Councillor Andy Burton, cabinet portfolio holder for economic investment and planning delivery at the council, said: “Retaining Fairtrade county status is something that the East Riding can be rightly proud of and demonstrates the area’s commitment to championing the rights of farmers and workers in the developing world.

“FERN has done an excellent job in encouraging residents and retail businesses to buy Fairtrade produce and we would like to congratulate them on securing Fairtrade county status for our area until 2020.”

In response to the application, the Fairtrade Foundation said: “It is apparent that Fairtrade in the East Riding continues to grow. It has been brilliant to read about all your achievements, promoting Fairtrade in a variety of different ways and creating significant momentum for the movement.”

Ros Stanley, Cherry Burton Fairtrade and Local Produce Steering Group, said: “Supporting Fairtrade, empowers us to make a difference. We have helped over 7.5 million farmers and workers across the world to trade their way out of poverty and have a future. We have been a Fairtrade Village since 2003.”

Coverage in the ‘Beverley Life’ newspaper.

Catherine Greenaway, Pocklington Fairtrade and Local Produce Action Group, said: “It is deeply unfair that the farmers in the developing world who grow our food often do not have enough to eat themselves. Fairtrade is a way of addressing that injustice. It is a development tool; a way of lifting people out of poverty giving them not just a fair wage but dignity and hope for the future.”

Catherine also works at Driffield Junior School, adding: “It’s been nearly ten years since the children at Driffield Junior School started to learn about Fairtrade and hold regular events in support of it. The work they have done has not only helped to lift producers in the developing world out of poverty, but has also contributed enormously to their knowledge and understanding of the world they live in.”

John Turner of Beverley Fairtrade Group said: “We are very pleased to be actively involved in FERN and actively contribute to the county being recognised as a Fairtrade County. The support from East Riding of Yorkshire Council is very much appreciated. We hope to encourage other communities to support our aims.”

Margaret Knapton of Hornsea Fairtrade Group said: “Hornsea has a great community spirit and their support of Fairtrade is simply an extension of that – making sure people, no matter where – are supported and rewarded for their hard work”.

For more information on Fairtrade in the East Riding and FERN, contact Jackson Sage, community and sustainable development officer, at jackson.sage@eastriding.gov.uk

Posted on July 2nd, 2018 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

Schools score for Fairtrade

Gooooooal!! Pupils from across Leeds and Wakefield put Fairtrade in the back of the net!

Friday 22nd June saw schools from across Leeds and Wakefield come together to celebrate Fairtrade and learn about the people who make footballs at Leeds Civic Hall.

This annual event, run in partnership with Leeds Development Education Centre (DEC) and Fairtrade Leeds for the 8th year, featured special guest Angus Coull from Bala Fairtrade Sports balls. Pupils had a go at making their own footballs and learnt about how Fairtrade means that football workers in Pakistan can now benefit from free eye care and subsidised glasses and free school books and backpacks for workers’ children. The Fairtrade Premium also part funds projects such as water purification plants located just outside the factory gates so that anyone in the community can take advantage of free, safe drinking water.

“It is particularly important that we focus on the people who create the footballs during this World Cup, who often are paid low wages for the hours of work they put into stitching the balls together” said Hannah Langdana, from Leeds DEC.

Pupils from Brownhill Primary School commented “We loved the event. We all got to learn something new about Fairtrade!”

The Coop sponsored the event and provided real life case studies of how Fairtrade can change the lives of the farmers and their communities.

Other special guests included Hilary Benn MP who said it was a “Fantastic event” and the Lord Mayor of Leeds Cllr Graham Latty. Stalls were run by The Beehive Fairtrade shop, Europe Direct and Leeds DEC.

Posted on July 2nd, 2018 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

Skipton’s fair Mayor

Fairtrade stalwart, Councillor Alan Hickman has been elected as the Mayor of Skipton.  Alan has been a long serving member on the Skipton Fairtrade Initiative Group, which was responsible for Skipton gaining Fairtrade Town status in 2014.

Skipton Mayoress, Marie Hickman and the Mayor, Councillor Alan Hickman

Coordinator of Fairtrade Yorkshire, Mark Dawson attended the Mayor Making ceremony at Skipton Town Hall and stated: “This is a well deserved appointment for Alan, who has a marvellous track record in supporting Fairtrade and other action for social justice.  He is a great ambassador for Skipton and will make a fantastic Mayor.”

The ceremony was attended by local well-wishers, including Liz and Chantelle from Fairtrade Skipton and John Grogan MP was also in attendance.

Posted on May 29th, 2018 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

Yorkshire’s newest Fairtrade Village

Embsay with Eastby is the most recent place in Yorkshire to gain Fairtrade status.   Local resident, Liz Roodhouse worked with the Parish Council and the church and community groups in the village to make Fairtrade Embsay with Eastby a reality.  There is now a village Fairtrade Steering Group composed of enthusiastic local supporters.  The village celebrated its Fairtrade status with a Fairtrade breakfast on 22nd May.

Posted on May 29th, 2018 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

Fairtrade Yorkshire writ large at Tour de Yorkshire

It was impossible to miss Fairtrade Yorkshire as the cycling race, the Tour de Yorkshire, hit the moor-side town of Ilkley.  Giant Fairtrade Yorkshire land art was set up at the Audley Clevedon village on the fringes of Ilkley.  Here is a picture captured by an aerial drone.  The Fairtrade slogan for the Tour is ‘End the cycle of poverty: choose Fairtrade.’

On the 4th May Fairtrade Ilkley supporters gave away Fairtrade bananas (Courtesy of the Coop and M&S) to cycling fans in the town.

Coordinator of Fairtrade Bradford Borough, Karen Palframan attracted the attention of the law and was identified as a ‘slippery character.’

Bananas galore at the Tour

 

Slippery character – Karen Palframan

Posted on May 29th, 2018 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News