Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Press Release: Southend Awarded Fairtrade Borough Status!

Wednesday 3rd November, 2010 – For immediate release

Southend-on-Sea Borough has moved one step closer to helping make the world a fairer place - by becoming an official Fairtrade borough.

To earn the coveted accolade, which was officially bestowed on Wednesday 27th October, the council had to achieve a number of goals.

The first involved passing a resolution supporting Fairtrade as an organisation, evidenced by the introduction of Fairtrade vending machines in the Civic Centre and Fairtrade branded tea and coffee in the catering facilities.

The second meant ensuring at least two Fairtrade products were available in at least 32 shops and served in 16 local cafes and catering establishments.

This was evidenced by 44 retailers and 19 catering outlets stocking Fairtrade products, well over the required number for a borough the size of Southend.

The Council also had to demonstrate that Fairtrade products were used by local businesses and community organizations. To date 10 businesses and 17 faith groups are involved and strong links have been made with a number of local schools and community groups.

It also had to evidence that it had been able to attract media coverage and popular support for Fairtrade, which was achieved by the hosting of a number of Fairtrade events, including Fairtrade Fortnight.

Finally, the Council had to convene a Fairtrade Steering Group to ensure continued commitment to the cause, and the group now meets regularly every six to eight weeks.

Looking to the future the group will continue to develop its Fairtrade campaign as it has to renew its Fairtrade Borough status in a year’s time, and every two years following that.

It will focus on developing school and community organisation support for the campaign and looking at ideas to help take the Fairtrade message forward.

Councillor Andrew Moring, a member of the Fairtrade Steering Group said: “This is great news! Well done to everyone involved for all the hard work that has been done throughout the Borough to make this possible.

This action will help ensure decent working arrangement for all farmers and workers not just those in the developing world

“We must make sure we can keep people thinking and choosing Fairtrade in the Borough, and really try and build on this success to better people’s lives.”

Note to journalists:

Fairtrade is about establishing better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers.

Offering a fair price for goods enables them to improve their situation and have more control over their lives. For more information on Fairtrade visit http://www.fairtrade.org.uk/ or http://www.fairtradeleigh.org.uk/ and follow us on Twitter www.twitter.com/SOSFairtrade and join us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=331091558751

ENDS

For more information about this media release please call the Media and Communications Team

on 01702-215000 ext 5939 or e-mail media@southend.gov.uk or David Elcock Fairtrade Volunteer on info@fairtradeleigh.org.uk

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