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Fairtrade is the way forward for Medway

Date: 02/06/2008           Category: Economic Development

Medway has been awarded Fairtrade Zone status. Having Fairtrade accreditation shows a real support from Medway residents and an understanding of how Fairtrade helps people in less developed countries to address poverty related issues. On Saturday, 7 June, there will be an exhibition about Fairtrade as part of World Environment Day at Gillingham Library. Medway Council along with community groups, faith groups, schools and businesses has spent three years working to achieve this goal. As part of the work, the council had to raise public awareness of Fairtrade goods. A Medway school pupil also developed a colouring book for infant school pupils, aimed at raising awareness of Fairtrade. The Fairtrade Foundation plans to distribute and publish this nationally. Portfolio Holder for Strategic Development and Economic Growth Cllr Jane Chitty said: “By awarding Medway Fairtrade status it shows Medway Council and the wider community is commited and willing to help those communities in the world less fortunate. “Increasing numbers of people in the UK buy Fairtrade goods as a personal action to help tackle poverty in the developing world. In so doing they are already helping to give a better future to the seven million people, growers and their families, who currently participate in the Fairtrade system.” Editor’s notes: Becoming a Fairtrade Zone involved meeting five goals as set out by the Fairtrade Foundation. These include: · The local council supporting Fairtrade by selling its products in its cafes/canteens. · A range of Fairtrade products must be available in the area’s shops and served in cafés. · Fair-trade products must be used by a number of local work places educational establishments, faith communities and other community organisations. · Organise events to gain popular support for the campaign. · Fair-trade steering group must meet regularly to ensure continued commitment to promoting Fairtrade.