Poole has been awarded the prestigious Fairtrade status in recognition of its commitment to Fairtrade principles.
Poole is now the latest town in the UK to officially become a Fairtrade Town after resolving earlier this year to actively promote Fairtrade to consumers, businesses and community groups in the area in an effort to make Poole a Fairtrade town.
The Fairtrade Poole steering group has been working towards achieving the Fairtrade status for several years and has brought together businesses, charities, schools, faith groups, community groups and council representatives to promote fair trade and FAIRTRADE Mark products in Poole. This has included the RNLI College which successfully became Poole’s flagship Fairtrade organisation last year.
As part of the campaign, retailers and eateries had to pledge to sell a number of FAIRTRADE Mark product ranges. The campaign also secured support from faith groups, schools and voluntary groups, as well as lobbying businesses to promote the Fairtrade message in their working practices.
Cllr Mohan Iyengar, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for the Economy, Borough of Poole, said: “We are proud to endorse this community project and demonstrate the borough’s commitment to supporting the FAIRTRADE Mark, which guarantees fair prices and suitable working conditions for workers instead of producers in developing countries. Working in partnership with a broad range of organisations, this project helps enable sustainable economic growth and shows our joint support for ethical purchasing.”
Fairtrade helps small-scale farmers ensure they earn stable incomes and have long-term contracts with companies. The FAIRTRADE Mark independently certifies that products meet economic, social and environmental standards.
Gwyn Jones, Chair of Fairtrade Poole Steering Group, said: “This initiative already has fantastic, widespread support from a broad spectrum of people and organisations in Poole, and we encourage others to show their support for Fairtrade locally.”
Adam Gardner, Communities Campaigns Manager at the Fairtrade Foundation, said: “We are delighted to welcome Poole to the Fairtrade movement which now unites over 1,500 communities worldwide, taking practical steps to making a fairer world trade system a reality.”
Chris Watson, Catering Manager at Poole Grammar School, which received a gold Fairtrade award as a multiple product retailer last year, said: “We are delighted to be able to assist in Poole achieving Fairtrade town status. We look forward to sharing the benefits of such an accolade both globally for producers and growing the Fairtrade ethos within our school and the wider community.”
Ewan Steele, Hotel Services Manager at the RNLI College, said: “As a member of Poole’s Fairtrade Steering Group, we at the RNLI are delighted by the announcement that Poole has received Fairtrade status. We look forward to celebrating this exciting news and shall continue to work alongside other members of the steering group to help support awareness of Fairtrade within the community by hosting events here at the RNLI College.”
Key members of the Fairtrade Poole steering group includes Borough of Poole, Bournemouth & Poole College, Poole Chaplaincy, Poole Grammar School, Poole Housing Partnership, Poole Methodist Church, RNLI College and Transition Town. The group will continue to work on initiatives to raise awareness about Fairtrade in Poole. If you would like to find out more, please contact the Fairtrade Poole steering group at firstname.lastname@example.org.