Sunday, 9 November 2008

Five Years of Fairtrade in Northumberland

Last weekend (Sat 1st) – we had a ‘Celebration of Five Years of Fairtrade in Morpeth’ – remembering that Morpeth was the first Fairtrade town in Northumberland, being awarded the status in 2003.

It was a good turnout – with some 50 or so people from all over Northumberland – from Wooler to Wideopen. Hannah Reed came up from the Fairtrade Foundation in London, giving us a preview of their new ‘Tipping the Balance’ campaign to be launched in Fairtrade Fortnight (23rd Feb – 8th Mar) next year. Also a forewarning of the Great Banana Event on 6th-7th March….

Fiona Hall MEP came along and Denis Murphy MP thought he was coming, but his staff sprang a surprise birthday party on him. (Happy Birthday for last week, Denis!)

And the newly formed Morpeth Leos – the ‘junior Lions’ from KEVI – came along with some entertaining Fairtrade games and quizzes. I was disappointed that they didn’t do the promised facepainting though.

We collected ideas and suggestions for what might be done to promote Fairtrade further – and here’s a transcription of what people came up with:


* Raising awareness of fairtrade amongst young people – going into schools and running ‘fun’ events
* Can school ‘shops’ and canteens be fairtrade?
* Northumberland – a fairtrade county?
* Hadrians Wall – a fairtrade zone?
* T-shirts & badges to promote fairtrade
* Councils offer free advertising on website and in publications for local suppliers, sellers of fairtrade produce, including discount coupons for products
* Develop more of a website presence
a web-based Northumberland directory of Fairtrade outlets
* Get someone uninhibited on your committee


* Local Schools
* Target young people - a Morpeth or Northumberland Fairtrade Facebook group
* Why just young people? Try involving U3A
* Pegswood Parish Council to persuade all community facilities (Uniun Building, Welfare, Project Centre etc) to buy fairtrade tea, coffee etc from the local Co-Op
* The large supermarkets
* Cramlington Fairtrade Steering Group seeks support
* The new Northumberland unitary Council
* Organise a motion in support of Fairtrade to be passed in the month that the new council comes into existence (April-May)
* Parish councils – and the new clusters of parish councils (formerly known as belonging communities)
* The new town councils being created in Wansbeck & Blyth Valley
* Town-twinning people: working on Fairtrade promotion with “twin” towns in Europe and elsewhere
* Churches – together with their sister churches in other countries
* Bed & Breakfasts, Guest Houses, Hotels
* Development Trusts


* Have more gatherings to bring people together – twice a year?
* Cramlington: Photo-Opp of Manor Walks security manhandling fairtrade activist distributing fairtrade leaflets outside the mall
* Fairtrade fair led by young people
* Fairtrade Fortnight 23rd Feb – 8th Mar 09
* Launch of Fairtrade Foundation “Tipping the Balance” initiative
* Bananas! Fri 6th Sat 7th Mar
Banana world record attempt held at all Morpeth schools simultaneously! Perhaps Leos could co-ordinate?
Banana Tour: An inflatable banana or people dressed as bananas visiting shops and supporters in Morpeth/Northumberland
Which building can we dress up as a banana?
* Fairtrade Question Time in run-up to European Elections (June ’09)
Traidcraft may be producing national policy briefing


* Morpeth Leos
Leos are visiting 7-12 year-old youth group in Longhirst to talk about Fairtrade (and take the games with them)
* KEVI Student Voice
* KEVI Student International Relations Committee

No comments: