Friday, 19 February 2010

Fair Trade Shame

Darlington has lost its status as a Fair Trade town. As one of the biggest Fair Trade retailers in the town, I sat on the original Steering Group, under the leadership of the Council, which worked hard to gather together the information required to achieve that status. Shops, restaurants, cafes, public offices, schools: all were contacted and many persuaded to sell or supply Fair Trade products. By the end of 2006 we achieved the target for the number of Fair Trade outlets in each category required to gain Fair Trade Town status.

However, having achieved that status and milked it for all the publicity it could get, the Council has failed to maintain that status. I now discover that a renewal application has to be made after one year and again every two years after that. Darlington Borough Council has failed to do this.

Having taken the lead in pulling together the original bid, the Council should have continued to do the appropriate work required to maintain that status. It seems it did not.

Now a new Steering Group is being formed under the leadership of Pat Buttle, a former mayor of this town and prominent trade unionist, charity worker and all-round pocket dynamo. I have said I will join the Group and help regain our Fair Trade status.

Fair Trade Fortnight starts on Monday, February 22nd. This year's theme is
"The Big Swap".

I'll be decking the shop out with Fair Trade banners, posters and stickers as usual. The Fair Trade Foundation is looking for one million and one swaps: buying a Fair Trade product instead of your usual brand in your shop or supermarket.


breyhen said...

he video worked perfectly on my laptop. It is a snappy thing but might be a nuisance for people with weak eyes as there is a lot of movement of letters and words. I had not realised my underwear could be "Fairtrade" goods - foodstuffs I understand but had not been checking M&S stock for the logo. I keep pushing organisations I belong to for them to purchase Fairtrade goods but the majority of members are so used to commercial taste of a particular coffee etc. they are reluctant to accept other brands. Still we can but keep trying and do our individual bit to support the third world. I hope ytour campaign goes well, I'll pop in when in town.

james said...

Fair trade, mike? Not very liberal, whatever happened to free trade? ;-)

miketually said...

"I had not realised my underwear could be "Fairtrade""

Everything can be fairly traded. Clothes can be organic too.