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Southwell Town Council to explore becoming Fairtrade town again

A council has agreed to explore how it can “renew and reinvigorate” its status as a Fairtrade town.

Southwell Town Council’s Town Environment Committee agreed Jamie Bostock would investigate how Southwell could once again hold Fairtrade status.

The town first achieved Fairtrade status in 2006, but over the years the commitment has not been renewed — although a number of traders and eateries in the town continue to sell Fairtrade products.

Jamie Bostock.
Jamie Bostock.

A member of the public who had been involved in the previous status achievement spoke at the meeting and said: “In Fairtrade terms the town is a glowing ember.

“It was on March 11, 2006, the Fairtrade certificate was presented and [the courtroom] was turned into a breakfast room. There was a real will to be Fairtrade.

“We need to take the glowing embers and blow them into flames again.”

Another member of the public, who had links to the Fairtrade foundation, said: “It is well worth supporting… it is a shame the town has lapsed in its commitment.”

The status requires the town to work on five action areas: boosting Fairtrade, connecting Fairtrade, Fairtrade changemakers, Fairtrade ambassadors and Fairtrade influencers.

The foundation works with farming co-operatives, businesses and governments to make trade fairer and help producers earn secure and sustainable livelihoods.

Mr Bostock was approached by Southwell Minster’s Fairtrade Group to request the council explore the possibility of becoming a Fairtrade town again.

Southwell Town Council's offices at The Old Courthouse, Southwell.
Southwell Town Council's offices at The Old Courthouse, Southwell.

He said: “I think Fairtrade is a very exciting initiative and one we should invest our time in.

“I think it would be really good to have Southwell back on the map as somewhere which supports Fairtrade.”

Peter Harris added: “I know a lot of the churches still subscribe to promoting Fairtrade products.

“I think that its a really good idea that we investigate and support this.”

He added that he looked forward to seeing the Fairtrade banana back out in the town at community events.

Councillors unanimously supported the proposal for Mr Bostock to investigate and present the steps required to become a Fairtrade town back to the council.

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