We are delighted to announce that the Fairtrade Foundation has awarded Surrey Fairtrade County status.
The following press release is being sent to the press.
Surrey achieves Fairtrade County status
Surrey has been awarded Fairtrade County status by the Fairtrade Foundation following several years of campaigning and activism by local Fairtrade supporters.
In November 2009 existing Fairtrade Towns groups from around Surrey came together to form a campaign to try and do for Surrey what each had done in their own towns and boroughs. A launch event was held in September 2010 which culminated with a gathering at Surrey University. The primary purpose has been to provide new opportunities to promote Fairtrade to the public and business community, and encourage a wider audience to consider Fairtrade when making purchasing and procurement decisions.
Launch event for Surrey Fairtrade campaign, held at Surrey University
By the start of 2014 there were only two criteria left to be addressed; the passing of a resolution by Surrey County Council in support of Fairtrade and the support of a flagship employer. A Motion proposed by Councillor Robert Evans to Surrey County Council committing SCC to support Fairtrade was passed in May 2014 (See here for wording of the resolution http://mycouncil.surreycc.gov.uk/mgAi.aspx?ID=6588 ). On hearing that Surrey has now been granted Fairtrade County status Councillor Evans said “We see so many pictures from around the world, of people in desperate conditions and we know we can’t do much to help. But by supporting Fairtrade we’re making a positive commitment that we know will – bit by bit – help improve the lives of some of the poorest people on the planet”.
The other outstanding requirement, the need for a supportive employer in the County, was met when WWF-UK moved to Woking in late 2013 and, after partnering successfully with the Woking Fairtrade group for several events, agreed to be the Flagship Employer. Tess Manser, a spokesperson from WWF-UK said “WWF-UK is proud to be working with Woking Fairtrade – we wholeheartedly support the work they do. When people are treated and paid fairly for their work and produce, they are more likely to value their environment and help it to thrive. This aligns with WWF’s global mission: to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature.
Speaking for Surrey Fairtrade, Becca Rowland, said that campaigners are delighted to have reached this milestone. “Many people have worked hard to make this happen. There is growing evidence that sales of Fairtrade products make a positive impact for farmers and workers in poorer countries. Just as farmers here need to be treated fairly, so do the farmers who produce much of our food overseas and one day, I hope, Fairtrade will be the norm, not the exception”.
Faith Axten, also involved with Fairtrade Surrey and the coordinator of the Addlestone Fairtrade Town group, is encouraging as many people to get involved with Fairtrade Fortnight in 2016 as possible. “We’ll be having a celebration event for achieving Fairtrade County status next Fairtrade Fortnight. We’ll also be encouraging everyone to sit down for breakfast and stand up for farmers! Fairtrade Fortnight (29 February – 13 March 2016) will be all about breakfasts. Before you’ve finished eating breakfast in the morning you’ve depended on more than half the world if you’re drinking coffee form Kenya, bananas from Colombia, cocoa from the Ivory Coast, tea from India, sugar from Malawi and juice from Brazilian oranges. We’d love as many people as possible across Surrey to organise breakfast with their friends, their school, their community group or their work colleagues and try and make it a Fairtrade breakfast”.
For more information on Fairtrade and Fairtrade Fortnight 2016 go to www.fairtrade.org.uk.
Note to Editors:
There are 10 Fairtrade Towns and Villages in Surrey – Addlestone, Cranleigh, Dorking, Godalming, Guildford, Haslemere, Leatherhead, Lingfield and Dormansland, Tatsfield, Woking.
What is a Fairtrade County?
There are five criteria required to become a Fairtrade Town:
- The local council passes a resolution supporting Fairtrade, and agrees to serve Fairtrade products (for example, in meetings, offices and canteens);
- A range of (at least two) Fairtrade products are readily available in the area’s retail outlets (shops, supermarkets, newsagents, petrol stations) and served in local catering outlets (cafés, restaurants, pubs);
- Local workplaces and community organisations (places of worship, schools, universities, colleges etc.) support Fairtrade and use Fairtrade products whenever possible. Populations over 100,000 also need a ‘flagship’ employer;
- Through media coverage and events, raises awareness and understanding of Fairtrade across the wider community; and
- A Fairtrade steering group is convened to ensure the Fairtrade Town campaign continues to develop and gain new support.
The goals for a Fairtrade County are very similar to those for a Fairtrade Town, City or Borough. The county campaign can choose how best to meet Goals 2 and 3 – they can be met if more than half the population of the county live in an area which has already achieved Fairtrade status. Goals 1, 4 and 5 must be met in the usual way and a Fairtrade County campaign needs a distinct flagship employer.
Becca Rowland, Network Coordinator, Surrey Fairtrade 07909114664
Faith Axten, Secretary, Surrey Fairtrade 07764170591