Westport becomes Fairtrade Town - Political Quote

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Monday, February 12, 2007

Westport becomes Fairtrade Town

Speaking at the joint celebrations in Westport last Thursday Cllr Keith Martin of the Westport Fairtrade Committee which is comprised of Edel Hackett, Mary Walsh, Roisin Moran, Sue Minish, Brian Quinn, Gemma Hennesy, Sheila O’Donnell and Bríd McAuley expressed their thanks to the people of Westport for the town’s achievement in becoming a Fairtrade Town.

The Westport Committee also congratulated Castlebar and the Castlebar committee for their achievement in also becoming a Fairtade town. Cllr Martin also expressed the thanks for all the help and co-operation they had received from Castlebar.

Cllr Martin pointed out that there was nothing new about ethical consumerisma as he pointed out that Westport committee member Rosin McAuley and her husband Chris Smith had been selling such products after services at Holy Trinity 20 years ago.

Cllr Martin explained that Fairtrade was set up in 1992 by Oxfam, Christian Aid and Traidcraft and in Ireland it is supported by all the major Charities and by the ICTU.

Fairtrade Ireland is part of International Fairtrade which unites 20 countries across Europe, Japan, North America, Mexico and Australia and New Zealand under the Fairtrade label. Currently Fairtrade sales in Ireland are growing at 40% each year.

Westport Fairtrade Committee was established in 2005 as the campaign got underway with a resolution of support by Westport Town Council and with a very successful Tea and Coffee morning in Carrowbeg House.

Cllr Martin told those gathered in Hotel Westport for the celebrations that Fairtade is a better deal, a ‘fair’ deal for producers and workers in developing countries.

“Any product carrying the distinctive Fairtrade logo is guaranteed to have paid the farmer a fair price for his product. But Fairtrade is more than just paying a fair price for the workers efforts. Fairtrade supports community and social development.

“For example Fairtrade standards help smallholders to get organised in cooperatives, it ensures that those working in factories are also paid decent wages and are guaranteed the right to join trade unions.

“On these Fairtrade approved plantations and factories, recognised health, safety and environmental standards must be complied with, and there is no child or forced labour.”

Cllr Martin also thanked Westport Town Council for its support over the last two years. Both churches in the town were thanked for their backing of the campaign as were the schools and school children who “had taken the campaign and its ideals to their hearts.”

Cllr Martin concluded by pointing out that there was a lot more work to be done stating “This award tonight does not mark the end of the Westport Fairtrade campaign but rather it marks the beginning. Tomorrow we move on to building on this success.”

National Fairtrade Fortnight runs from February 26 to March 11.
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9 comments:

Samuel Bowman said...

What is a "Fairtrade town", exactly?

Keith said...

To become a Fairtrade Town (or any other populated area), 5 goals must be met:

The local council must pass a resolution supporting Fairtrade, and serve Fairtrade coffee and tea at its meetings and in offices and canteens.

A range of Fairtrade products must be readily available in the area’s shops and served in local cafés and catering establishments (targets are set in relation to population)

Fairtrade products must be used by a number of local work places (estate agents, hairdressers etc) and community organisations (churches, schools etc)

Attract media coverage and popular support for the campaign

A local Fairtrade steering group must be convened to ensure continued commitment to Fairtrade Town status.

Simon said...

So what is your opinion on the fact that the FLO have not risen fair trade prices in a decade and still refuse even though the costs for farmers are growing.

WHich has resulted in the fair trade prices converaging with the market prices. http://justthings.info/files/JT-02-01.pdf

Political Quote said...

Fairtrade is about a lot more than just money and prices.

Read up on it at www.fairtrade.ie

Simon said...

That was not the question. Please stop dodging questions. The question was.

What is your opinion on the fact that the FLO have not risen fair trade prices in a decade and still refuse even though the costs for farmers are growing.

Political Quote said...

Fairtrade is about a lot more than just money and prices.

It is about your favourite thing "social inclusion"!

Fairtrade guarantees workers a fair day's pay for a fair day's work, that workers have the right to an organised union, that work places and practices conform to health and safety standards, that there is no child or slave labour, that co-ops are set up to increase production, that women have the right to run their own farms, lower costs, hire educators and run training courses etc etc etc.....

It is not all about the money you know. It is about society, "social inclusion" it is a great example of socialism.

How much is that worth? Can you put a price on that? I bet you can!

Simon said...

I am turning into paxman here. The question again for the third time.

What is your opinion on the fact that the FLO have not risen fair trade prices in a decade and still refuse even though the costs for farmers are growing.

This is a major issue in Fair trade circles and caused alot of debate on the way the FLO is going. Alot of fairtrade activists were outraged by the decision. For instance here. http://www.justcoffee.net/node/857

Considering your interest in Fair trade surely you have an opinion on the matter.

Political Quote said...

I have more than an interest in Fairtrade. My committee and I have spent two years promoting Fairtrade in Westport and are delighted that the town is now designated a Fairtrade town.

I am not going to second guess the FLO and I have pointed out to you that it is not all about the money. Fairtrade is about a better society, not just a better price.

Simon said...

So what is your opinion on the fact that the FLO have not risen fair trade prices in a decade and still refuse even though the costs for farmers are growing.

So the answer to the question is. you agree with the decision. Thank you for answering my question.

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