This coming weekend volunteers in Hull will kick off Fairtrade’s 25th birthday celebrations by creating a giant FAIRTRADE mark in Trinity Square, mirroring similar activities up and down the country on the same day.
The event, at 12 noon on Saturday 5th October, will highlight the grassroots supporter network behind the Fairtrade movement, and engage campaigners in the city to flex their creative muscles in the ‘Make Your Mark’ campaign. Over 150 volunteers will recreate the Fairtrade mark in a giant human mosaic at Hull’s Trinity Square. The volunteers will be dressed in the iconic colours of the Fairtrade mark – black, green and blue – wearing Fairtrade cotton T-shirts, and hats made by local knitters and crocheters from Hull and East Yorkshire.
Stalls selling fair trade food and crafts will be open in a special pop-up market inside Trinity Market Hall, and there will be children’s craft workshops too. Visitors can find out more about Hull as a Fairtrade City, and Yorkshire as the UK’s biggest Fairtrade region.
Joanna Pollard, Co-ordinator of Fairtrade Yorkshire says: “I’ve been working to promote Fairtrade for 15 years and I’ve seen how much lives have been changed. When we choose Fairtrade as part of our everyday shopping, we are making sure the people all around the world who grow the foods we love are paid properly. Fairtrade helps farmers invest in their own futures, their children’s futures and the planet. The simple act of buying a Fairtrade coffee or chocolate bar can be one of the most important things you do today.”
Peter from Hull Fairtrade Partnership says: “Hull has a long history of fighting for what is right going back to before the days of Wilberforce. That spirit is alive and well today, giving rise to Hull as a Fairtrade City and all that involves.
“Chocolate has been one of our passions and we are proud to have the Divine Chocolate UK warehouse within our city boundaries, and chocolate has often figured highly in our campaigning for Fairtrade.
“Over the years we have engaged with many communities, schools, churches, businesses, etc., and Fairtrade Labelled chocolate has often been the product that started the conversation, the label leading on to talk about Tea and Coffee and all of the thousands of products which are traded in an ethical and sustainable manner. So, for Hull to be a focal point for 25th birthday of the Fairtrade mark, is just brilliant!”
Julia Nicoara, Director of Public Engagement at the Fairtrade Foundation, said: “Today the FAIRTRADE Mark is the best known and most trusted ethical label in the UK. Fairtrade is proof of what is possible when millions of people pull together.”
The international Fairtrade system exists to end poverty through trade. The Fairtrade Foundation is an independent certification body and NGO which licenses the use of the FAIRTRADE Mark on more than 6,000 products which meet its rigorous social, economic and environmental standards. This independent label signifies to consumers that farmers and workers across 73 developing countries are getting a better deal from trade.
[Joanna Pollard – Fairtrade Yorkshire]