Town thanked for backing fair deal for farmers

Launching Fairtrade Fortnight in 2014
Launching Fairtrade Fortnight in 2014

A group which helped make Harborough a Fairtrade Town is attempting to renew the status nine years on.

The town received Fairtrade status in March 2006 but it has to be renewed every few years with proof that town businesses and organisations are still committed to using Fairtrade products such as coffee and tea.

Donald Clinton-Smith, from the Market Harborough Fairtrade Town Steering Group, said: “A Fairtrade Town needs to update its registration with the Fairtrade Foundation every two years.

“We need to do this in July, Harborough District Council are working on their endorsement.

“As part of our submission – which covers a wide range of reports and commitments – we need to check our list of all those shops, businesses and other organisations who are committed to selling, supplying or using Fairtrade products.”

Mr Clinton-Smith said a host of events have been held in the last several years to mark the town’s status.

He added: “There are a number of key principles of Fair Trade, which are controlled by the Fairtrade Foundation: that trading practices are fair and not one-sided; prices paid are fair and sufficient for producers and workers to earn more than enough money to merely meet their day-to-day needs; payments are often made in advance to ensure the supplier can fulfil orders; producers and workers have a voice, whether organised into groups or involved in workplaces where there is freedom of association; there must be safe working conditions, non-discrimination and welfare of children and practices must work towards a sustainable environment.”

Mr Clinton Smith said that since the launch of the Market Harborough Fairtrade Town Group, initiatives have included challenging the town to buy 90 1Kg bags of Malawian Fairtrade rice which would enable the child of a rice farmer to attend secondary school for one year.

He added: “A total of 210 bags of rice were sold.

“We have also been part of a Christmas Tree Festival at Clipston and raised money for Mo’Ket Harborough by selling homemade cakes with Fair Trade chocolate moustaches.

“The town has also taken part in Fairtrade Fortnight and held a Fairtrade banana competition in the local Sainsbury’s and a cake stall in the market.

“We have organised a stall in Harborough Market Hall displaying non-food Fairtrade items on sale in local shops and been in conversation with more than a dozen additional shops and businesses who now sell or use Fairtrade products.”

Businesses in the town which support the movement are given a window sticker so they can advertise their support.

Among the organisations showing their support in the town are Harborough Baptist Church, Bray and Bray Solicitors, Brooke House College,

Harborough C of E School, the Citizens Advice Bureau, Clinton-Smith and Warren Optometrists and the Clockwise Credit Union in Northampton Road.