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Council lends its support to Fairtrade campaign

December 27, 2007 11:08 PM

Fairtrade LogoAt a full Council meeting on Tuesday 11 December, Members agreed to back the Fairtrade campaign and meet set requirements laid down by the national Fairtrade Foundation.

Councillor Nigel Pavey said: "One of the Council's Key Priorities is about promoting sustainability and Fairtrade status will not only be a huge achievement for us as a borough but will also bring major advantages to disadvantaged people in developing countries. The Fairtrade Forum for the town has already been doing some excellent work and many of the churches have added their support."

As part of the commitment to the scheme, the Council undertakes to offer Fairtrade marked food and drink options to council staff and for internal Council meetings. The Fairtrade Mark will be promoted using Fairtrade Foundation materials in refreshment areas and the Fairtrade Towns scheme will be supported in communications materials. Council venues and linked organisations will be encouraged to provide Fairtrade goods and local retailers invited to provide Fairtrade options for residents. Businesses will also be encouraged to offer Fairtrade options to their staff and promote the Fairtrade Mark internally.

The Council will champion this initiative and in turn will support the Epsom & Ewell Fairtrade Forum. Plans also include offering some resources to help the Forum increase awareness, create a borough-wide directory and organise promotional events during the national Fairtrade Fortnight which takes place between Monday 25 February and Sunday 9 March 2008.

This move, proposed by Cllr Clive Smitheram (RA), seconded by Cllr Nigel Pavey (Lib Dem) and agreed unanimously, marks the culmination of a campaign initiated by Lib Dem Cllrs Jonathan Lees and Colin Taylor in 2004, as a result of intensive work by the Fairtrade Forum to deal with various earlier objections and misunderstandings.

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