STUDENTS from Comet country have been cottoning on to the Fairtrade message.

A group from Barnwell School, Stevenage joined other young people from across the county to take part in a record-breaking attempt to create the world’s longest string of bunting.

They went to County Hall in Hertford where guests decorated 100 pieces of cotton bunting, and tucked into a bunting cake made from Fairtrade ingredients.

To secure the world bunting record, 308,000 bunting flags made out of Fairtrade cotton triangles have been decorated by groups across the UK. They are being sewn together to make a 40-mile long statement about the importance of fair trade.

Herts County Council chairman Bernard Lloyd said: “By publicising the need for people to buy Fairtrade products we are supporting better prices, decent working conditions and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world.”

Sharon Taylor, leader of Stevenage Borough Council and chairman of Hertfordshire Fairtrade Towns Steering Group, said: “It is encouraging to see so many of our shops stocked with Fairtrade goods as more people are becoming aware of the wide range of goods which are available.

“By purchasing Fairtrade products we are doing the right thing and helping the producers to make a better life for themselves and their families.”

Jasmin Julia Gupta, chairman of Stevenage Fair Trade Group, added: “We want to encourage people to help get a fair deal for the poorest people in the world.

“It’s great that thousands of Hertfordshire people are supporting events in Fairtrade Fortnight and highlighting the constant need for fairness in the world.”

Fairtrade Fortnight, which finishes on Sunday, emphasises the need for a fair deal for producers in the Third World, particularly West Africa and India.

Fairtrade towns represented at the County Hall event included Stevenage and Hitchin.