Highland Council Supports Inverness Bid for Fairtrade City Status (19/12/05)

A donation of £2,300 will be made to WEA Highland from the Inverness Common Good Fund towards meeting the costs of the campaign which will cover: advertising, print design, events, travelling and administrative costs. A campaign website will be developed ‘in-kind’ by Plexus Media.

Highland Council City of Inverness Area Manager Chris Claridge said: "WEA Highland is lodging a bid for Inverness Fairtrade City status in time for Fairtrade Fortnight in March 2006. Inverness is already firmly on the way to meeting some of the criteria for Fairtrade City status.

"Since April 2003, The Highland Council passed a resolution that all tea and coffee provided at official meetings is bought under a recognised Fairtrade label or equivalent; and WEA Highland took the lead in forming a steering group involving representatives from the Highland Council, INBSE, the Co-operative and Highland Wholefoods (both of which promote and sell Fairtrade products), the Highland One World Group and other individuals."

"I urge local shops and businesses to support WEA Highland in this bid for Fairtrade City by either supplying or using Fairtrade products and I also urge the local media to support Inverness in this campaign by publicising it widely so that we can achieve the remaining resolutions that: ‘…a range of (at least two) Fairtrade products should be readily available in the Area’s shops and catering outlets; Fairtrade products should be used by a number of workplaces and community organisations; and there should be media coverage and popular support for the campaign.’"

Fairtrade is defined as: "Fairtrade is an alternative approach to conventional international trade. It is a trading partnership which aims at sustainable development for excluded and disadvantaged producers. It seeks to do this by providing better trading conditions by awareness raising and by campaigning."

Fairtrading has improved the quality of lives for over 4.5 million producers and their families in 36 countries.

WEA held a public meeting in September 2005 in the Town House which attracted over 70

individuals many of whom signed up to join sub-groups dealing with media and marketing;

schools and community; special events; and retailers, suppliers and caterers. A Christmas Bazaar was held last week in the Town House on Saturday, 10th December to widen interest in Fairtrade and encourage the purchase of its products.

Hilary Lawson, WEA Highland said: "Our Fairtrade Bazaar on the 10th was a great success as a showcase for the many and varied quality Fairtrade products now available here in the UK.  Throughout the day, there was a steady flow of shoppers who were very happy to direct some of their Christmas spending to more ethical outlets this year.  In addition, the profile of the campaign was raised and a wider audience was reached.

"By working together, we can all start to make Fairtrade an everyday reality here in Inverness providing living proof that it is possible to "think globally, act locally".

"The idea to develop Inverness as a Fair Trade City came about through public concern arising out of the Make Poverty History and G8 events this past summer.  Buoyed by interest shown by the public, a number of organisations got together to begin to plan how best to launch an Inverness bid.

"We were heartened by our first open meeting in September at the Town House which attracted over 70 individuals, all interested to help in whatever way they could.  Four sub groups have been formed - media and marketing, education and community, special events and producers and retailers.

"We are delighted that all is going to plan and attention will now be focused on our next set of events in March 2006 during Fairtrade Fortnight.  A Fairtrade Fashion Show will take place on 14th March and several representatives from Divine Chocolate from Ghana will also visit the Inverness area that week as well."

-ends-

For further information please contact: Chris Claridge, Area Manager – Inverness, The Highland Council, tel: (01463) 724212

Notes to Editor:

To become a Fairtrade Town (or any other populated area), 5 goals must be met:

*The local council must pass a resolution supporting Fairtrade, and serve Fairtrade coffee and tea at its meetings and in offices and canteens.
*A range of Fairtrade products must be readily available in the area’s shops and served in local cafés and catering establishments (targets are set in relation to population) * Fairtrade products must be used by a number of local work places (estate agents, hairdressers etc) and community organisations (churches, schools etc)
* The council must attract popular support for the campaign.
* A local Fairtrade steering group must be convened to ensure continued commitment to Fairtrade Town status.

For further information please see the Fairtrade website at:

http://www.fairtrade.org.uk/
 

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