EVEN the most ardent chocoholic might struggle to finish this bar…but why was it carried from Stockton High Street to the Tees Barrage at the weekend?
Well, it was all part of Fairtrade Fortnight, an annual event held in support of the farmers and workers who grow our food in developing countries.
The focus of this year’s campaign is about ensuring that cocoa farmers – in particular the women – are paid fairly for their work.
In recognition of this, a giant chocolate bar was transported from Hartlepool to Middlesbrough via Stockton.
On arrival in Stockton High Street, it was handed over to the Mayor of Stockton-on-Tees, Councillor Eileen Johnson.
“We’ve been a Fairtrade Borough for more than 10 years and we’re very proud of it,” said the Mayor. “This giant chocolate bar is a fun way of getting across a serious message that almost all cocoa farmers in West Africa live in poverty. If it gets people thinking and talking then that’s a good thing.”
The Mayor was joined by members of the Stockton Fairtrade Borough Partnership and the Council’s Cabinet Member for Access, Communities and Community Safety, Councillor Steve Nelson.
Chair of Stockton Fairtrade Borough Partnership, Maureen Rigg, said: “This was a powerful way to show our solidarity with the farmers, particularly women, who are working so hard to bring us our luxury.”
Councillor Steve Nelson added: “By buying more Fairtrade products we can all show our support for people in developing nations. Like anybody else, they simply want to be able to sell at a fair price so they can provide for their families and have a better future.
“The Council is doing its bit by offering Fairtrade products in our food outlets at Preston Park, Wynyard Woodland Park and in Stockton Central Library. Every little helps.”
Stockton-on-Tees was first awarded Fairtrade status in 2007 in recognition of its strong support for Fairtrade.
To find out more about Fairtrade Fortnight visit the Fairtrade Foundation website www.fairtrade.org.uk