The City of Bath has successfully renewed its Fairtrade status for two years, thanks to the support of a new Local Food Partnership, co-ordinated by B&NES Council.
The city was first awarded the Fairtrade status in 2008 in recognition of strong local support for Fairtrade, but membership had lapsed. Now thanks to the support of the new partnership, the city has been able to demonstrate again its commitment to promoting Fairtrade principles.
The Bath and North East Somerset Local Food Partnership provides the leadership for Fairtrade in Bath, working alongside key businesses and organisations such as the University of Bath, Bath Spa University and St Saviours Church.
The city has clearly demonstrated that it is achieving the qualifying goals for the status, which include wide availability of Fairtrade products in local shops and outlets, high levels of support from local people, the Council, businesses, faith groups and schools.
Councillor Martin Veal (Conservative, Bathavon North), Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: “Regaining Fairtrade status says a lot about our Local Food Strategy and needs celebrating.
“It is excellent news for the city and the community. Our strategy is about improving diet-related health and wellbeing, environmental sustainability and boosting the local food economy.
“Bath and North East Somerset is already a member of the sustainable food cities network, and holds Fairtrade accreditation for the communities of Saltford and Keynsham.
“We now want to encourage a wider range of work places, community organisations and schools to serve Fairtrade products and get involved in the Fairtrade campaign.”
Chairman of Bath and North East Somerset Council, Cllr Ian Gilchrist, was awarded the Fairtrade renewal certificate at the Bath City Conference.
He said: “We’re really proud of the fantastic work underway to support Fairtrade locally.
“Both the University of Bath and Bath Spa University have won Fairtrade business awards this year in recognition of their work on Fairtrade and there are a significant number of businesses, organisations, schools and community groups who use and promote Fairtrade products.”
Lyndsey Wright, Fairtrade co-ordinator of St Saviours Church, Larkhall: said: “We’re so pleased that Bath has received Fairtrade status and laid out goals to take Fairtrade further.
“Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world.
“Thanks to the ongoing support of the public and campaigners, an increasing number of farmers in developing countries are now selling their products on Fairtrade terms, bringing them a stable income, and the chance to trade their way out of poverty.”
If you would like to get involved in the Fairtrade campaign, visit Fairtrade Southwest at www.fairtradesouthwest.org.uk or join the Fairtrade group on the B&NES Environmental Sustainability Network at www.sustainabilitynetwork.co.uk/group/fairtrade.