Antrim - The Fairtrade Borough
Antrim was the first Borough in Northern Ireland to be awarded Fairtrade Borough Status.
To become a Fairtrade Borough we had to show that there is a real commitment from all sectors of the community to promote and use fairly traded products in order to help others less fortunate than ourselves.
Five goals had to be met as laid down by the Fairtrade. These included:
- The Council passing a resolution to support Fairtrade and agreeing to serve Fairtrade products
- At least two Fairtrade products be readily available in 10 retail outlets and 5 catering outlets
- Local workplaces and community organisations support Fairtrade and use products wherever possible
- Media coverage & events be organised to raise awareness and understanding of Fairtrade across the community
- A local Fairtrade steering group be convened to ensure the campaign continues to develop & gain new support
WHAT IS FAIRTRADE?
Fairtrade is a system developed to ensure that farmers in the developing world are paid a fair price for their produce. Many of the Farmers who produce everyday items such as bananas, coffee and cocoa are very poor and struggle to survive within a system of trade that often does not allow for them to make any profit. When market prices drop for their produce many are forced into crippling debt and lose their land, homes or at worst even their lives. Fairtrade focuses on sustainable development for poorer producers offering an alternative trading option. It aims to do this by providing better trading conditions, raising awareness of the situation and campaigning.
HOW CAN I GET INVOLVED
Making the change to Fairtrade doesn't necessarily mean making a huge effort. It can be as simple as swapping a few of your regular grocery items for those carrying the Fairtrade Mark. Examples of this might be coffee, tea or sugar. Below is a list of tips you might consider taking in making the change towards a Fairtrade lifestyle:
- Choose products with the Fairtrade mark when doing your shopping.
- Ask your local retailer to stock a selection of Fairtrade items. Did you know retailers only need to stock a minimum of two Fairtrade products to be considered a Fairtrade retailer?
- Introduce Fairtrade coffee mornings to your friends, workplace or community group. It is not only a great chance to support Fairtrade and raise awareness but is a good opportunity for a social event as well.
- Ask your local Church or community group to include Fairtrade in their sermons or events list. There are a wide range of initiatives and topics that you could discuss or organise.
- Get involved with Antrim Borough Councils drive to become a Fairtrade town/zone. You can volunteer to become part of their steering group, which is responsible for the development of the campaign.
- Schools can also become involved in a variety of ways including those above.
If you would like to register your business as a Fairtrade supporter that offers Fairtrade products to staff or customers, or would like to join the Antrim Borough Fairtrade Community Committee, please contact Danielle McCormick, Environmental Education and Awareness Officer T. 028 9446 3113 E. email@example.com