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Region gears up for Fairtrade Fortnight
RESIDENTS are being encouraged to change the way they shop as region gears up to celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight.
York’s Festival of Fairtrade begins next week, bringing together traders, schools, churches and community groups who hope to spread the word about the importance of using ethically sourced products.
Events are being held in and around York during the festival which runs from Monday to March 9.
Organisers say it demonstrates the commitment to Fairtrade that earned York Fairtrade City status which, they stress, is an ongoing campaign, not simply an award.
During the fortnight, olive farmers from ancient groves in Palestine who are members of the Palestinian farmers’ co-operative Zaytoun will be in York on Tuesday. Manal Abdallah and Abu Rafat Odeh are on a whistle-stop tour of Yorkshire to talk about how Fairtrade has made a difference to their livelihoods. The event is being co-organised with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.
Richard Lane, one of the organisers with the York Fair Trade Forum, said: “Fairtrade is about mutual support – it shows that trade can be about more than just getting the lowest possible price. I encourage anyone who wonders whether it really makes a difference to come down and hear for themselves.
“York was one of the first Fairtrade cities in Yorkshire which was the first Fairtrade region in the UK. We’ve been at the leading edge of the unstoppable rise of Fairtrade and we can be very proud of that.”
Events are to be held across York with offers and promotions from Fairtrade retailers and cafés. Programmes are available at all of the city’s major stockists of Fairtrade products, and at fairtradeyork.com The festival ends with a market in Parliament Street on Friday, March 8, and Saturday, March 9, from 9.30am to 4.30pm, selling Fairtrade food, drink, clothing, gifts and crafts. Craft workshops for all ages will be held on the Saturday.
Fairtrade has been helping small farmers globally by increasing their access to western markets and guaranteeing a fair price for their produce, with an added premium going to develop their business or communities.