Fair Trade status renewed for Derry & Strabane

Celebrating Fair Trade at the Slow Food Festival 2018' (�Lorcan Doherty)
Celebrating Fair Trade at the Slow Food Festival 2018' (�Lorcan Doherty)

Fairtrade status has successfully been renewed for Derry & Strabane for a further two years.

Mayor John Boyle said achieving the renewal status for the area demonstrates the commitment of the Fairtrade Steering Group to help along with many others to improve the livelihoods and working conditions of people living in developing countries, ensuring sustainable production, responsible trading and reducing opportunities for exploitation.

“It is great news that the area has successfully achieved the qualifying goals as part of the renewal process, demonstrating an active approach to changing people’s trading habits by raising awareness and ensuring availability of Fairtrade products in local retail and catering outlets, gaining high levels of support from local people, businesses, the council and schools to deliver and achieve a Fairtrade status across the city and district,” he said.

In 2014 the former Derry City Council was awarded Fairtrade City Status and building on this achievement Derry City and Strabane District Council passed a resolution in 2015 to demonstrate Council’s support for a campaign to achieve Fairtrade status for the whole Council area. DCSDC was the first Council in Northern Ireland to achieve Fairtrade District Status.

Chairperson for the local Fairtrade Steering Group Donna McFeely added: “Our award as a Fairtrade City and District is down to the commitment of the steering group working in partnership with Council, retailers, schools and faith based organisations using and/or selling Fairtrade products. It would be fantastic to see an increased growth in the number of Fairtrade schools, business and churches within the Derry City and Strabane District Council area and I would encourage citizens to continue to buy Fairtrade items, which could be chocolate, coffee, teabags, fruit or clothes!”

Locally the Fairtrade Steering Group revealed its plans to promote Fairtrade to more community groups and businesses in the area by taking part in various campaigns, including the Fairtrade Fortnight, which runs from 25th February to 10th March 2019 in addition to continuing to build on its work with schools, churches and other retail sectors.

Fairtrade is instrumental in achieving sustainability, environmental protection and climate change adaptation is a key element of Fairtrade’s view of sustainability, promoting training and environmentally friendly practices, however sustainability is demonstrated through other avenues including through promoting a decent standard of living, income and food security, reducing levels of risk and vulnerability, discrimination, ensuring better trading conditions, securing the rights of, farmers and producers so that they receive better prices for their goods and are able to secure better working conditions and greater equity in international trade.

Adam Gardner, Communities Campaigns Manager at the Fairtrade Foundation, said: “We’re very pleased that Derry City and Strabane District 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.”

Sinn Féin representative Hayleigh Fleming has welcomed the decision.

Hayleigh Fleming said: “This is a very positive move. It’s important that we support the Fairtrade campaign to ensure that farmers and workers in the developing world get better prices, decent working conditions and local sustainability. We need to congratulate all those locally who have been highlighting the Fairtrade campaign.

“There is a huge awareness and interest in the work of Fairtrade, particularly amongst young people.

“Being a Fairtrade City and District will introduce more people, businesses and communities to the Fair Trade vision of a world in which justice and sustainable development are at the heart of trade structures and practices so that everyone, through their work, can maintain a decent and dignified livelihood and develop their full potential.”

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.

Further information on Fairtrade may be found on both the websites for Fairtrade Ireland www.fairtrade.ie and the Fairtrade Foundation www.fairtrade.org.uk or contacting Derry City and Strabane District Council on 028 7125 3253 or emailing fairtrade@derrystrabane.com