Following weeks of hard work and commitment by councillors, businesses and private individuals, Weston-super-Mare is now celebrating becoming accredited as a Fairtrade community. In March 2021 Weston Town Council voted overwhelmingly to apply for Fairtrade status and our application was officially accepted on 15th December.
Fairtrade status means that Weston is working towards ensuring that producers of everyday goods, such as tea, coffee, cocoa and sugar receive a fair, guaranteed price for their produce. Additionally, a small premium attached to Fairtrade goods is used to provide services such as education and sanitation in the producers’ villages.
Goods bearing the Fairtrade symbol can now be found on sale in at least 22 local shops, cafés and supermarkets, and Weston Town Council uses Fairtrade tea and coffee for all its refreshments. There is no difference in quality between Fairtrade and non-Fairtrade products and the prices are comparable.
Farmers around the world face many challenges ranging from unfair trading practices to poverty and climate change. Fairtrade has paved a way for fairer, ethical trading. Currently it works with 1.66 million farmers and workers in poorest nations to enable them to earn a sustainable income and the Fairtrade Premium that they can invest in community, business and environmental projects.
Councillor Pete McAleer, Chair of the local Fairtrade group commented: “We are really proud to see Weston becoming a Fairtrade town. It just shows what can be achieved when businesses, local people and politicians of all parties work together to make lives better for other people.”
Sarah Brazier, Communities Campaigns Manager at the Fairtrade Foundation said: “We all have huge power to change things for the better through our shopping choices and business practices. With the support of campaigners such as the Fairtrade Weston-super-Mare group, the Fairtrade movement has helped to transform the lives of millions of farmers and workers, their families and communities in the world’s poorest countries. Trade is not working for everyone and so we need to keep driving change for more farmers and their families. I hope the group will continue their much-needed work and I wish them many more years of success.”
The Fairtrade Town campaign started in 2001 in Garstang, Lancashire, to promote Fairtrade-certified goods in the town. The Fairtrade network currently includes over 600 Fairtrade Communities in the UK, and over 2,000 worldwide.
To find out more please contact Pete McAleer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01934 412461 and join our FaceBook group Fairtrade Weston.