Hello Fair and Fabulous readers, I trust you are well.
If you hadn’t already heard, the 23rd of February marked the beginning of Fairtrade Fortnight!
A two-week long promotional campaign organised and funded by The Fairtrade Foundation, the aim of which is to increase the awareness of Fairtrade products and producers as well as to actively encourage fairer, more ethical and sustainable trading.
The first ever Fairtrade Fortnight was launched on the 12th of February, 1997 and was directed by Barnaby Miln at the Augustine United Church of Edinburgh, Scotland. Barnaby sent a list of 85 major supermarkets in Scotland to his fellow campaigners and encouraged them to ask for Fairtrade products within, some of the organisations involved included; Christian Aid Scotland, SCIAF, Traidcraft, Oxfam and the World Development Movement. The event was a huge success and by the following year, supermarkets all across Scotland were stocking fairly traded products and even better, news of Fairtrade Fortnight spread across the UK…
In November 2001, only 4 years later, a little market town in Lancashire called Garstang triumphantly became the World’s first ever Fairtrade town. Seven years, 91 towns, 150 schools, 9 universities, 18 counties and 6 cities later lead to Wales being crowned ‘The World’s First Fair Trade Nation!’
The latest town to achieve Fairtrade status is the historic market town of Castell Newydd Emlyn. Yes after three years of campaigning, on the 31st of October 2014, Newcastle Emlyn was declared a Fairtrade Town. Naturally, Fair and Fabulous were over the moon and with Fairtrade Fortnight just around the corner, special plans were made for the event to celebrate our new title.
We started off with an Art competition involving children from two local primary schools. Ysgol Penboyr pupils from year 6 were asked to create a design relating to Fair Trade and then paint them onto cotton tote shopping bags. The bags were on display for all to see in the upstairs function room of Fair and Fabulous and were judged by a popular and well-known local artist called Helen Elliot. Ysgol Y Ddwylan, a Fairtrade school since 2013, had the task of producing a piece of Art of any form relating to Fairtrade, a winner from each year was chosen. The winning creations will be on display in various shops in Newcastle Emlyn, forming an ‘Art trail’ which will be organised by the town’s Fairtrade steering group on World Fair Trade Day, a WFTO initiative, on May the 9th.
To show our appreciation to all our customers who buy Fair Trade on a regular basis, we held a Loyalty Card Soiree for all Fair and Fabulous Loyalty Card holders. A chance for members to purchase products at a discounted price and get an exclusive view of new products in-store but also a chance for us to show our support to those who buy Fair Trade and to encourage others to do the same, even if it was encouragement in the form a glass of Fairtrade win
As luck would have it, news of Newcastle Emlyn’s recent accomplishment had reached Allan Saidi, a sugar cane farmer from Chikwawa, Southern Malawi, escorted by members of Fair Trade Wales. Every year, The Fairtrade Foundation arrange for a Fairtrade Producer from developing countries to tour the UK. As well as raising awareness of Fair Trade, the aim of the tour is to enable consumers to see for themselves how producers and communities, such as Allan Saidi’s, have benefited from Fairtrade.
On his visit, Allan travelled across Wales telling people about the difference they can make to sugar farmers when they purchase Fairtrade sugar and why choosing Fairtrade sugar is more important than ever before. After some talking, plenty of eating and several stickers later.. Fair and Fabulous along with Allan Saidi and general members of the public gathered on Sycamore Street to plant a commemorative tree in honour of becoming a Fairtrade town. Ten points to whoever can guess what type of tree we planted…. ?
Fairtrade Fortnight is now widely celebrated thanks to the success of these annual campaigns, most notably in Ireland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. To find out how you can make a difference by getting involved with Fairtrade Fortnight, Click Here!
Are you local??
If you live in or around Newcastle Emlyn and want more information about how you could be a part of the Fairtrade movement, visit http://www.newcastle-emlyn.com/newcastle-emlyn-fairtrade-group-formed.