Worcester celebrates its tenth anniversary as a Fairtrade City this week, supporting the campaign to promote better prices, decent working conditions and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers cross the globe.
The City Council originally passed a motion to apply for Fairtrade status on 6 July 2006. Since then, it has joined forces with the Worcester Trade Justice Network to run an annual poster competition with local schools, in a bid to raise awareness about Fairtrade products and what they stand for.
Anthony Wood, Chair of the Worcester Trade Justice Network, has spoken to literally thousands of local children about Fairtrade across the decade, giving four or five assemblies and encouraging between eight and ten schools to enter the poster competition every year.
“Many of the schools have also organised Fairtrade baking competitions and have studied slavery and related issues during Fairtrade Fortnight,” says Anthony.
“Discussions such as these help to raise awareness of the price which has been paid – both past and present – by those who supply us with everyday household food items which we often take for granted.”
Anthony has approached scores of shops, cafes and businesses in Worcester over the last decade in a bid to encourage more to supply Fairtrade products.
Over 4,500 Fairtrade products are available in the UK, from coffee, tea and chocolate to bananas, flowers and even gold.
"I was very pleased to be the councillor who introduced the idea that Worcester should become a Fair Trade City more than ten years ago, and am proud of our success. I urge everyone out shopping to look for the Fairtrade symbol on products,” says Cllr Paul Denham, Mayor for Worcester.
“By purchasing Fairtrade produce, you can help farmers from across the globe to get a fairer deal so they can support their local communities better.”
Worcester’s Guildhall only supplies Fairtrade tea, coffee and sugar for all its meetings and events.
For a list of companies and retailers that produce or sell Fairtrade products, go to http://www.fairtrade.org.uk/
Photo (L to R): Anthony Wood, Chair of the Worcester Trade Justice Network; Cllr Paul Denham, Mayor of Worcester; and three pupils from Our Lady Queen of Peace primary school: Oliver Carney (aged 11); Daisy Hooley (aged 10) and Gabriel Coprada (aged 11).
They hold a winning Fairtrade poster design, which 30 children in the school originally created as one metre square mural.