In February 2014 Blackpool Council passed a resolution stating that it was committed to supporting and promoting the use of Fairtrade products throughout the town. Since then a local campaign has been set up with the support of the Fairness Commission to work towards gaining Fairtrade Town Status for Blackpool.

A Fairtrade Steering Group has been formed to oversee the work being carried out across the town to help achieve Fairtrade Status. The group is chaired by the manager of Blackpool Sainsbury’s.

What is Fairtrade?
“Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world.”

Fairtrade addresses the injustices of conventional trade, which historically discriminates against the poorest and weakest producers of commodities such as sugar, cocoa, rice and tea due to the remnants of the slave trade. It enables them to improve their position and have more control over their lives.

More and more of us want to know where our food comes from. We want to know that the people who grew or made the products we need and enjoy were not exploited, received a fair wage and enjoyed reasonable working conditions.

The Fairtrade mark offers us a guarantee that disadvantaged producers are getting a better deal. Fairtrade ensures that farmers are paid sustainable prices for their produce which must never fall lower than the market price.

What is a Fairtrade Town?

A Fair Trade Town is any community in which people and organisations use their everyday choices to increase sales of Fair Trade products and bring about positive change for farmers and workers in developing countries.

Each Fair Trade Town is unique. Some begin with a group of committed activists persuading friends, family and local shops to get involved. Others are started by a local authority as a way of taking practical action around their commitments to sustainable development.

To become a Fair Trade Town, a community needs to meet certain goals that are set and monitored at national levels.

The five goals are:

  1. Local authority support for Fairtrade
  2. Local retailers and food providers to supply and promote Fairtrade products
  3. Local charities, faith groups and employers to provide Fairtrade tea, coffee, sugar and other refreshments for their staff and members in meetings and events.
  4. Ongoing media campaign to raise awareness of Fairtrade
  5. Formation of a Steering Group to drive the campaign forward beyond attainment of Fairtrade Town Status.

Fairtrade products are already sold in all the major supermarkets in Blackpool, as well as in many of the smaller retail outlets, cafes and restaurants. The number of independent businesses choosing to stock Fairtrade products such as tea, coffee, sugar, fruit and chocolate continues to rise year on year as many are seeing both the business and moral benefits as more people demand an ethical alternative.

Nationally there are over 3,000 products with the Fairtrade mark including many well-known items –chocolate, teas, coffees, bananas and other fruit; as well as wines, rum, beers and ales, fruit juices and soft drinks; confectionery, nuts and snacks; pastas, rice and spices; kitchen and toilet rolls; cotton garments and household textiles and many, many more!

The campaign to make Blackpool a Fairtrade Town is driven by a focused and determined steering group representing a wide range of individuals and organisations throughout the town including schools, colleges, faith groups, the council, local charities and voluntary organisations, as well as national and local retailers.

As an individual you can make a huge contribution to supporting Fairtrade in the town. By simply buying Fairtrade items you are letting supermarkets and small businesses know that ethically sourced products matter to you. If more and more people choose Fairtrade the more important it will be for businesses to stock Fairtrade options. This grows the Fairtrade market and ensures that more farmers get a decent price for products they produce.

Here are a few things YOU can do to support Fairtrade…

  • Buy Fairtrade products whenever possible (even if you only buy one Fairtrade item a week – even if it is just a bar of chocolate – it all helps support farmers get a decent wage)
  • Encourage your friends and family to buy Fairtrade
  • Learn more about Fairtrade and the origins of unfairness in the global market by visiting the Fairtrade Foundation website… fairtrade.org.uk

You can also join the campaign and get involved in any of our events throughout the year by emailing any ideas or comments you have fairness@blackpool.gov.uk