MIDDLESBROUGH has successfully renewed its Fairtrade Town status for two years.
The achievement was celebrated at the BIG North East Fairtrade Celebration held in the The Hub at Teesside University.
At the event on Friday (March 4) a talk from Luz Marina Garcia Ruiz, Certification Manager at the Asprocafé Ingrumá Co-operative in Colombia, about coffee production and how Fairtrade has helped the whole area where she lives.
The Middlesbrough Fairtrade Steering Group revealed its plans to promote Fairtrade to more community groups and businesses in the area by taking part in campaigns, including the nationwide Fairtrade Fortnight at the end of February.
During Fairtrade Fortnight Free Fairtrade breakfasts were given to all the cyclists who parked their bikes at the Cycle Centre between 8am and 10am.
Middlesbrough was first awarded the Fairtrade status in 2007 in recognition of the strong support for Fairtrade within the town, and the achievement of five qualifying goals, such as a wide availability of Fairtrade products in local shops and catering outlets, high levels of support from local people, businesses, the council, faith groups and schools.
Councillor Julia Rostron, chair of the Middlesbrough Fairtrade Steering Group, said: “We are pleased to be awarded Fairtrade Town status again in Middlesbrough as it recognises our ongoing commitment to promoting Fairtrade principles.
“We will continue to support the hard work of the volunteers to promote Fairtrade and the good work that the Fairtrade premium does for farmers and their families.”
Adam Gardner, Communities Campaigns Manager at the Fairtrade Foundation, said: “We’re so pleased that Middlesbrough has renewed their Fairtrade status and laid out clear exciting goals to take Fairtrade further.
“Thanks to the ongoing support of the public and campaigners, an increasing number of farmers in developing countries are now selling their products on Fairtrade terms, bringing them a stable income, and the chance to trade their way out of poverty.”
Fairtrade helps small-scale farmers ensure they earn stable incomes and have long-term contracts with companies.
In addition, they earn the Fairtrade Premium, which they invest as the farmer-owned co-operative democratically chooses, in projects that will benefit their business or community.
The FAIRTRADE Mark independently certifies that products meet economic, social and environmental standards. As such, it is the most widely recognised ethical mark worldwide.
For more information about the FAIRTRADE Mark and how to apply for Fairtrade status, visit www.fairtrade.org.uk