STOCKTON-ON-TEES has successfully renewed its Fairtrade Borough status for two years following its ongoing commitment to promoting Fairtrade principles.
The achievement will be marked at an event in Starbooks Cafe in Stockton Central Library on Monday 7 December where the Mayor of Stockton-on-Tees, Councillor Ian Dalgarno, will cut a celebration cake and there will be an information stand on display about Fairtrade.
Stockton Fairtrade Steering Group plans to promote Fairtrade to more community groups and businesses in the area by taking part in campaigns, including the nationwide Fairtrade Fortnight at the end of February 2016.
This follows the successful Fairtrade Cake competition this year, which was held as part of Fairtrade fortnight and attracted more than a dozen entries.
The cakes were then part of the Traidcraft Big Brew event at Preston Park Museum and Grounds which raised over £600 for Traidcraft Exchange to invest in Fairtrade projects.
Maureen Rigg, Chair of the Stockton Fairtrade Borough Partnership, said, “The partnership is delighted to have achieved the renewal of our status.
“With so many Fairtrade products on the market now it’s easy to do your bit and so more and more people in the Borough are supporting Fairtrade, helping the producers to have a fair deal for the goods they produce.”
Councillor Ian Dalgarno, Mayor of Stockton-on-Tees, said: “Fairtrade products offer our residents the opportunity to help address poverty in the developing world so to see that Stockton Borough has renewed its status should be a source of pride to many.
“It is a movement that I would encourage everyone to get behind, to help support farmers in developing nations to sell their products for a fair price that will enable them to support their families and invest in a better future.”
Adam Gardner, Communities Campaigns Manager at the Fairtrade Foundation, said: “We’re so pleased that Stockton-on-Tees has renewed their Fairtrade status and laid out clear exciting goals to take Fairtrade further.
“Thanks to the ongoing support of the public and campaigners, an increasing number of farmers in developing countries are now selling their products on Fairtrade terms, bringing them a stable income, and the chance to trade their way out of poverty.”
Stockton Borough was first awarded the Fairtrade status in 2007 in recognition of the strong support for Fairtrade and the achievement of five qualifying goals – including, among others, a wide availability of Fairtrade products in local shops and catering outlets. These goals were complemented by high levels of support from local people, businesses, the Council, faith groups and schools.
Fairtrade helps small-scale farmers ensure they earn stable incomes and have long-term contracts with companies.
In addition they earn the Fairtrade Premium which they invest as the farmer-owned co-operative democratically chooses, in projects that will benefit their business or community.
The Fairtrade Mark independently certifies that products meet economic, social and environmental standards. As such, it is the most widely recognised ethical mark worldwide.
For more information about the Fairtrade Mark and how to apply for Fairtrade status, visit www.fairtrade.org.uk