News

Celebrating Fairtrade in Batley

Release Date: 08-Mar-2011
An event to promote Fairtrade in Batley has been hailed as a resounding success.
The Deputy Mayor of Kirklees, Cllr Eric Firth, with Mohammad Jassat, a community representative, and Asma Raja from the KNH Community Engagement Team

The Deputy Mayor of Kirklees, Cllr Eric Firth, with Mohammad Jassat, a community representative, and Asma Raja from the KNH Community Engagement Team

The Health and Wellbeing Fairtrade event organized by KNH took place on Wednesday 2 March at the town hall. The event, part of Fairtrade Fortnight, was supported by the Kirklees Federation of Tenants and Residents Associations (KFTRA) and Kirklees Council and was opened by Deputy Mayor, Cllr Eric Firth.

Following a talk about Kirklees’ commitment to Fairtrade by Cllr Julie-Stewart-Turner, over 70 people from across Kirklees enjoyed Fairtrade food taster sessions and activities including manicures and Indian head and shoulder massage. They also had the chance to learn more about Fairtrade, grow-your-own initiatives, healthy eating and local services.

As part of the event, local organisaions, including tenants and residents associations, were also invited to take part in the ‘bunting challenge,’ in which they created their own artwork on cotton bunting to express their ideas about Fairtrade. Seventy-eight pieces were produced, which will be sewn together and sent to the Fairtrade headquarters. They will then become part of an attempt to break the world record for the longest continuous piece of bunting, as well raise awareness about Fairtrade.

The Fairtrade scheme is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. Over 3000 Fairtrade products are now widely available, from coffee, tea and sugar to bananas, chocolate and even gold.

Cllr Julie Stewart-Turner, Chair of the Kirklees Fairtrade Steering Committee, said: “Kirklees has recently been awarded Fairtrade status, which is a great achievement for all those involved.

“The challenge now is to maintain it, and events like these will help us do that – they are a wonderful way to raise awareness. I’m particularly pleased that so many people took part in the bunting challenge and that Kirklees will be contributing to the national effort to spread the message about Fairtrade.”

The event forms part of KNH's work to help build successful communities, by bringing people together from different areas to share experiences and ideas, break down barriers which can make them feel isolated and to encourage them to consider how to improve their health and well being. As Fair trade is an issue many people feel passionate about and others are just getting interested in, this was an ideal opportunity to help build their awareness and engagement in the issues.