Ethical Shopping Challenge

A COUNCIL wants you to get involved in an ethical shopping challenge. Stevenage Borough Council is calling on retailers, caterers and shoppers to take part in its third Fairtrade Fortnight which began on Monday. Goods that carry the Fairtrade logo guar

A COUNCIL wants you to get involved in an ethical shopping challenge.

Stevenage Borough Council is calling on retailers, caterers and shoppers to take part in its third Fairtrade Fortnight which began on Monday.

Goods that carry the Fairtrade logo guarantee a fair deal for producers in the developing world and the event challenges shops to promote these in innovative ways.

Sharon Taylor, leader of the council, said: "Fairtrade Fortnight is always great fun and I urge everyone to get involved. It will not only help producers in the developing world to get a fair deal but the colourful events and promotions will help to fight the doom and gloom of the recession."

Gladly's, a new deli in Middle Row in Stevenage, took part on Monday with a Fairtrade tea tasting day. Manager John Kettley said: "While we try to keep things as local as we can, buying from local producers, some things like tea and coffee you have to import. If we are going to do that then the best thing is to do it as ethically as we can. And that is where Fairtrade comes in."

Jasmin Julia Gupta from the Stevenage Fairtrade group, who has just come back from a tea plantation in India, was at the deli. She said: "When you witness a mother with a child on her back working 16 hours a day picking tea it makes you question your cuppa.

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"Fairtrade really makes a difference to these people. While big stores are starting to do their own ethical brand, which is great, Fairtrade is the only one that is independent."

Entries will be judged next week and a winners' reception will be held in the council building on Danestrete.

Anyone wishing to enter will have to hurry as registering closes tomorrow (Friday). Pick up an entry form from the council offices or complete one online at www.stevenage.gov.uk/fairtrade

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