London,
09
June
2008
|
00:00
Europe/London

Hackney - officially recognised as a Fairtrade borough

HACKNEY has won praise after being officially recognised as a Fairtrade borough.

It is the culmination of two years hard work by campaigners and means Hackney is doing its bit to ensure a better deal for farmers and workers in poorer countries.

The local campaign was masterminded by the Hackney Fairtrade Group – a partnership of more than 60 residents, business people and councilors.

It’s worked alongside the Council to promote Fairtrade principles in the borough and as a result, many local schools, businesses, religious and community groups have all signed up to the principle of only buying ethically responsible goods.

Hannah Reed, from the Fairtrade Foundation which certified the borough’s status, said: “I sincerely congratulate Hackney on becoming a Fairtrade Borough.

“This achievement has involved a great deal of hard work and has succeeded in uniting many different parts of the community towards a common goal.

“It has also contributed significantly to the campaign to make London a Fairtrade City.

“Hackney is a shining example of what can be achieved when people come together and I’d like to thank everyone who has been involved and urge others to come on board.

“As a community, Hackney has joined forces to help raise awareness of the urgent need for better terms of trade for producers, workers and their families in the developing world.

“With two billion working people around the world earning less than $2 per day, now is the time to support Fairtrade.”

Highlights of the two-year campaign include a a business breakfast with Hackney resident and BBC newscaster George Alagiah; the signing of a Fairtrade Faith statement by Muslim, Jewish, and Christian community leaders and the Town Hall screening of Fairtrade film Black Gold, made by Hackney residents Marc and Nick Francis.

Cllr Ian Rathbone, Hackney Fairtrade Group co-ordinator, said: “We are very pleased to have achieved this status after all the hard work by members of the group, campaigning across the borough to get others involved.”

The Hackney Fairtrade Group is now set to expand its campaign by encouraging more businesses to sign up to a Fairtrade directory on the Council’s website, and further develop links with producers in poorer countries.

Since January, Fairtrade goods have been available at Council meetings, and are also used throughout its offices.

Jules Pipe, Mayor of Hackney, added: “I hope Hackney’s ever-growing Fairtrade movement will inspire more people to buy goods which mean a fairer part of the price goes to those who produce them – to help improve their local environment including schools, hospitals, and roads.”

To find out how to get involved in Fairtrade, contact Ajamu Mutumwa on: 020 8356 7601; or e-mail: ajamu.mutumwa@hackney.gov.uk

How to get involved with Fairtrade:
• buy Fairtrade products – tea, coffee, fruit, sugar, chocolate and clothes are all available in shops in Hackney.
• encourage your work place to stock Fairtrade tea, coffee and sugar
• if you attend a place of worship, encouraging them to provide Fairtrade refreshments
Schools:
• the Fairtrade Foundation offers targeted resources and materials for pupils of all ages. Call: 020 7440 7676.
• Create a Fairtrade Ambassador programme within your school. Contact Cllr Ian Rathbone on: ian.rathbone@tiscali.co.uk
• Schools can apply for their own Fairtrade status. Visit: www.fairtradeschools.net/schools

Local businesses:
Offering customers the choice to buy Fairtrade can increase sales, enhance your reputation and potentially attract new customers.
Find out more from the Fairtrade Foundation on: 020 7405 5942, or visit: www.fairtrade.org.uk