West Sussex is now officially a Fairtrade County, after it made a resolution to actively promote Fairtrade to consumers, businesses and community groups in the area.
As part of the campaign, retailers have pledged to sell more than four Fairtrade products and eateries have served Fairtrade tea and coffee. The campaign also secured support from faith groups, schools and voluntary groups, as well as lobbying businesses to promote the Fairtrade message in their working practices.
Adam Gardner, Communities Campaigns Manager at the Fairtrade Foundation, said: “We are delighted to welcome West Sussex to the Fairtrade movement which now boasts more than 1,900 communities worldwide, taking practical steps to making a fairer world trade system a reality.
“Thanks to the 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.
“Today, more than 1.6 million farmers and workers across 74 developing countries benefit from the international Fairtrade system, but there is still a long way to go.”
Fairtrade helps small-scale farmers ensure they earn decent incomes and have long-term contracts with companies. In addition, they earn the Fairtrade Premium, which they invest in vital business, social and environmental projects.
Towns, cities, boroughs, villages, islands, counties and zones can apply for the Fairtrade Town status and join the movement towards a fairer world trade system. An area that apply for Fairtrade status must meet five criteria:
- The local council passes a resolution supporting Fairtrade, and agrees to serve Fairtrade tea and coffee Fairtrade at its meetings and canteens.
- At least four Fairtrade products can be purchased in the area's local shops and eateries.
- Fairtrade is effectively promoted to local businesses and community organisations.
- Attracting media coverage and popular support for the campaign.
- A local Steering Group must be established to ensure continued commitment to its Fairtrade Town status.
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.