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460 Fairtrade Towns prepare for Fairtrade Fortnight 23.02.10

Nearly 20 new villages, towns and boroughs around the UK are celebrating achieving Fairtrade status in time for this year’s Fairtrade Fortnight (22 February – 7 March) which has the theme of ‘The Big Swap.’ They will join another 440 who already work closely with the Fairtrade Foundation to promote Fairtrade produce to their citizens.



From Exmouth in Devon and Troon in Ayrshire to Dinas Powys in the Vale of Glamorgan and Deal in Kent, dedicated supporters have been working hard to ensure that their areas meet the targets for Fairtrade status – which involve increasing availability, understanding and support for Fairtrade. In addition, the Hadrian’s Wall corridor, which stretches across Northumberland, has also achieved Fairtrade zone status in time for Fairtrade Fortnight.

Fairtrade Fortnight is the annual nationwide campaign to promote awareness of Fairtrade and encourage people to buy products which carry the FAIRTRADE Mark in order to help farmers in developing countries. Achieving Fairtrade status in time for this year’s celebrations are the villages of Tatsfield in Surrey, Dinas Powys in the Vale of Glamorgan, Easton in Gordano, Pill and Ham Green in Somerset. New Fairtrade Towns include Felixstowe in Suffolk, Exmouth in Devon, Deal in Kent, Llangefni in Gwynedd, Dronfield in Derbyshire, Wivenhoe in Essex, Todmorden in West Yorkshire, Highworth in Wiltshire, Troon in Ayrshire and Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire.

The city of Ripon in North Yorkshire plus the Boroughs of Gedling in Nottinghamshire and Trafford in Greater Manchester, have also achieved Fairtrade status, joining a unique movement of more than 460 communities across the UK.

Hannah Reed, Campaigns Managers for Fairtrade Towns at the Fairtrade Foundation, says: ‘We are delighted to welcome the latest Fairtrade Villages, Towns and Boroughs – and Hadrian’s Wall – to the Fairtrade family. Fairtrade depends on its grassroots supporters spreading the word and we’re especially pleased that, in a period when things have been tough for many of us, people have still embraced Fairtrade and stood by farmers and producers in developing countries who are having an even tougher time.’

In addition to celebrations and events in the 17 latest places to achieve Fairtrade status, Fairtrade Fortnight events will be taking place the length and breadth of the UK. Towns, villages and cities which already have Fairtrade status are all likely to be home to many events. See http://www.fairtrade.org.uk/get_involved/campaigns/fairtrade_towns/towns_list.aspx for a list of Fairtrade Towns.

Fairtrade Fortnight will also be celebrated by organisations and groups, even if they are not in Fairtrade town. Faith groups, workplaces and voluntary groups, for example, will also be holding hundreds of events in church halls, temples and other places of worship. There are several key events planned for London. Details of local events can be found at www.fairtrade.org.uk/events

Special Strictly Fairtrade tea dances will be held in several areas to further raise the profile of the Fairtrade movement. People are invited to twist, jive, rumba or waltz the afternoon away at central venues in Dundee (Bonar Hall), Newcastle (Eldon Leisure), Liverpool (Liverpool One), Cardiff (St David’s Shopping Centre), Birmingham (Victoria Square) and London (Spitalfields) in the company of experts and with Fairtrade stalls and refreshments. For more details of the dances go to www.fairtrade.org.uk/thebigswap/get_involved/strictly_fairtrade_tea_dance.aspx

As part of its cotton campaign, a Fairtrade Foundation Fashion Road Show will tour fashion colleges in Huddersfield, Manchester, Northumbria and Nottingham. A Fairtrade fashion show is planned for Bristol on 25 February. For details see www.fairwearfashionshow.org.uk

The Big Swap asks people to swap everyday shopping basket items such as tea, coffee, chocolate, cotton tee-shirts, pineapples, bananas, cakes, sugar and a host of other products for Fairtrade ones during Fairtrade Fortnight.

Hannah Reed adds: ‘We want everyone to get busy swapping for Fairtrade. Swap your usual bananas for Fairtrade bananas, your usual socks for Fairtrade socks and your usual cuppa for a Fairtrade cuppa. Each swap will help producers in the developing world to get a fairer deal.

‘This is because Fairtrade offers producer organisations a fair and stable price for their products that covers their costs and enables them to support their families and invest in a better future. Although Fairtrade products are much more widely available these days, buying them is still not yet the norm for everyone. So, for Fairtrade Fortnight 2010, let’s get swapping.’

People are asked to log their swaps during Fairtrade Fortnight 2010 at www.fairtrade.org.uk/thebigswap The Fairtrade Foundation will be totting up product swaps on a special online swap-o-meter. The aim is to get people in Britain to make one million and one swaps over the two-week period.

Peter Shield

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