Archive for July, 2018

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.”

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