Fairtrade City hosts Event for Fairtrade Fortnight

Fairtrade City hosts Event for Fairtrade Fortnight

A group of erstwhile Fairtrade Supporters are arranging a Fairtrade Festival in the Clipper during Fairtrade Fortnight this year.

The event will run from Thursday 28 February to March 2.

Mary Elphinstone who is organising the event became a re-seller of Fairtrade goods with a monthly stall at her church in 2006. She was well versed in the products as she had been buying Fairtrade stuff for about twenty five or so years, on and off.

She has put her stall on the road since 2014 attending venues and using her home as a pre Christmas fair.
This year she is planning the three day event at the Clipper, Plymouth’s newest and most accessible venue for people interested in doing things differently.

The Clipper is the brain child of Nudge Community Builders, a community benefit society run by Wendy Hart and Hannah Sloggett, aiming to transform disused urban spaces to lead to lasting positive change and community led regeneration. Situated at 96 Union Street, in a former well known public house, it is the ideal venue to bring together like minded people who want to change the world one small step at a time. And the Fairtrade movement is certainly doing just that.

Traidcraft was one of the first organisations to start selling Fairtrade widely in the UK. It celebrates its 40th anniversary as a Fairtrade company, working with producers, importing goods in the UK and supporting both retailers (especially those with small ‘fairtrade’ shops) and Traidcraft Fairtraders, of whom Mary is one.

Traidcraft was a founding member of the Fairtrade Foundation (fairtrade.org.uk) and was involved with creating the Fairtrade Mark which is so familiar. It was also influential in the creation of two well known fairtrade businesses, Divine Chocolate and CaféDirect.

They have been influential internationally and are a member of WFTO (World Fairtrade Organisation), (wfto.com). This is an organisation which assesses the compliance of a whole business with Fairtrade Standards.
The WFTO defines Fairtrade as, “ a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect, that seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers – especially in the South.

Fair Trade is more than just trading:
• It proves that greater justice in world trade is possible.
• It highlights the need for change in the rules and practice of conventional trade and
shows how a successful business can also put people first.
• It is a tangible contribution to the fight against poverty, climate change and
economic crisis.

‘Fairtrade Fortnight’ (FTF) is a British tradition created by the Fairtrade Foundation to increase awareness of Fairtrade. Each year they have a theme and this year it is Chocolate!

Plymouth is a Fairtrade City (an award of the Fairtrade Foundation) and was one of the first cities to get the award) The status has to be renewed every two years now and is due for renewal this year.
Mary is hoping to have a lively event with lots of great products on sale. She is also organising speakers – producers and consumers, and the Co-op will be on hand promoting their own fairtrade products, and explaining about their ethical guidelines for suppliers to ensure that all the raw ingredients for goods are all produced under fair treatment of workers.

For more details please contact Mary on mge6015@gmail.com or pop in to the Clipper to find out more.