Huddersfield and Kirklees have been awarded Fairtrade Town Status following a successful campaign by a specially selected steering group that included the Chamber.
Cllr Julie Stewart-Turner, Chair of the Fairtrade Steering Committee, said: “I’m delighted that everyone’s efforts over the past year have been successful in gaining Fairtrade status, not just for Huddersfield, but for the whole of Kirklees. We have had tremendous support from public services, community based organisations, voluntary groups, and businesses including retail, industrial, leisure and domestic sectors.
She added: “Now we’ve gained Fairtrade status, we need to ensure we maintain it. I’d like to thank everyone who has supported us, and I hope you will all continue to work with us to spread the message over the years to come.”
Fairtrade aims to transform trading structures and practices in favour of the poor and disadvantaged and works towards sustainable development for producers, workers and their communities by enabling trading partnerships based on equity and transparency.
The Fairtrade Foundation runs campaigns with local community groups aimed at boosting awareness and understanding of trade issues, and promoting the purchase of Fairtrade products as a way that ordinary people can make a difference to the lives of producers. These campaigns have a set of goals, and receive a certificate of congratulation from the Fairtrade Foundation when they are reached.
The drive towards making Huddersfield a Fairtrade Town began in October 2009 and has been championed by a steering committee made up of Kirklees councillors, council officers plus representatives from the voluntary sector, University of Huddersfield, Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce; Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust, the Huddersfield branch of the Co-operative Party.
Events and activities including coffee mornings, shop displays and a gallery exhibition have taken place in Huddersfield to raise awareness of Fairtrade amongst business owners and shoppers and much pioneering work was done by a group called the Young Ethical Pioneers which are a partnership between the Huddersfield-based international entrepreneurial charity, the Lorna Young Foundation and the Pakistani Youth Forum which is also based in Huddersfield.