It's Fair trade in Rochdale

March 9, 2006 12:41 AM

Rochdale Council passed a resolution 4 years ago that Rochdale should become a Fairtrade Town. This was the start of a long campaign

To become a Fairtrade Town (or any other populated area), 5 goals must be met:

The local council must pass a resolution supporting Fairtrade, and serve Fairtrade coffee and tea at its meetings and in offices and canteens.

A range of Fairtrade products must be readily available in the area's shops and served in local cafés and catering establishments (targets are set in relation to population)

Fairtrade products must be used by a number of local work places (estate agents, hairdressers etc) and community organisations (churches, schools etc)

The council must attract popular support for the campaign.

A local Fairtrade steering group must be convened to ensure continued commitment to Fairtrade Town status.

Rochdale MP - Paul Rowen said, "I am delighted that we have finally achieved Fairtrade Status across Rochdale Borough and I look forward to attending some of the events planned in Fairtrade Fortnight in March. This status should be a clear message to developing countries that Rochdale cares. I would like to pay tribute to the Make Rochdale a Fairtrade Borough Action Group, who have worked with the Council to make this possible."

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For further information please contact Paul Rowen MP on 07976 295 205 or Dave Hennigan (Rochdale Lib Dem Press Office) SEE PICTURE ATTACHED - Promoting Fairtrade Products - Rochdale MP - Paul Rowen, Rochdale Euro MP Sajjad Karim MEP and Colin Heslop, Manager at ASDA, Rochdale.

Rochdale wins Fairtrade borough status

After three years of hard work, Rochdale borough has been awarded Fairtrade Borough status

This is a prestigious national award, given by the Fairtrade Foundation, recognising towns, cities and boroughs across the UK that have reached a set of goals in their work to promote Fairtrade.

The award has come just in time for this year's Fairtrade Fortnight (6-19 March).

The work has been led by the Rochdale Fairtrade Forum - a group made up of local volunteers committed to promoting Fairtrade.

There are now a number of local retailers and cafés that use and promote Fairtrade products, including Rochdale Council's Town Hall canteen and Touchstones café as well as numerous community groups, faith groups, workplaces and schools who support the campaign by using and/or promoting Fairtrade wherever possible. See www.rochdale.gov.uk for a full list.

So what's happening in Rochdale during Fairtrade Fortnight 2006?

Shawclough primary school's Spring Fair, Saturday 4 March, 1pm - 4pm, will include a Fairtrade stall, selling fair trade food and other goods, run by the Rochdale Woodcraft Folk

Fairtrade product sampling at the Co-op Store, Station Road, Littleborough on Monday 6 March from 9.30am onwards.

Primary schools across the borough will be learning about fair trade, making use of special resource packs entitled 'Make your school Fairtrade friendly'. The packs are funded by United Co-operatives, and will give pupils the facts about fair trade.

All local primary school children have been invited to take part in a Fairtrade colouring (under 7) and Fairtrade literacy (7-11 years) competition. Pupils can win two Fairtrade footballs for their school. Rochdale Fairtrade Forum members will act as judges. Closing date is 20 March.

Throughout the fortnight, Jitterbugs Play Centre, Todmorden Road, Littleborough and Touchstones Rochdale will be selling Fairtrade drinks and snacks. Each venue will also be running a colouring competition to win a Fairtrade football - entry forms should be collected from and returned directly to them. Closing date is 20 March.

And on Friday 17 March there will be the Rochdale Fairtrade Borough award celebration and presentation, 12.30pm to 1.30pm, Rochdale Town Hall. Fairtrade information stands and sampling. Anyone interested in Fairtrade is welcome

If you want to know more about Fairtrade, find out more at www.rochdale.gov.uk or at www.fairtrade.org.uk

What is a Fairtrade Borough and why it should matter to us?

Products that carry the Fairtrade Mark mean a better deal for producers in developing countries. Producers receive a fair price for their produce in addition to a 'social premium' to help them improve local conditions, such as building health centres and schools.

It therefore allows them to plan for the future. In return they must belong to democratic organisations, follow internationally-agreed labour standards and promote environmental sustainability by, for example, reducing their use of pesticides. A better deal for everyone - they get a fair price, we get a good product, and at a competitive price.

And how can you get involved?

· Persuade your colleagues at work to switch to Fairtrade tea & coffee

· Look out for Fairtrade products when doing your local shop

· Ask your supermarket, local corner shop or café to sell or serve Fairtrade - after all, you are the customer

· Pledge you support for the campaign at www.rochdale.gov.uk/Living/Community.asp?URL=la21fairtrade (click on the 'pledge your support' line and fill in the online form)

Further information Hazel Stobbs, Sustainability Assistant, Tel (01706)