Fairtrade: Getting set to play fair

CHANGE today, choose Fairtrade – that s the theme of Fairtrade Fortnight from February 26 to March 11, the annual campaign by the Fairtrade Foundation which encourages people to buy products carrying its mark. In February 2006, Hitchin was awarded status

CHANGE today, choose Fairtrade - that's the theme of Fairtrade Fortnight from February 26 to March 11, the annual campaign by the Fairtrade Foundation which encourages people to buy products carrying its mark.

In February 2006, Hitchin was awarded status as the first Fairtrade town in Hertfordshire after meeting a number of conditions including support from North Hertfordshire District Council, which serves Fairtrade tea and coffee on its premises, and having a range of outlets in the town selling Fairtrade products.

Other towns in Comet country are now looking at getting Fairtrade status including Letchworth GC and Stevenage.

As a Fairtrade town, Hitchin has a steering committee, which includes NHDC councillors Martin Stears and Allison Ashley, town centre manager Keith Hoskins, and Trudy Hankin, who became involved through going to a church where Fairtrade products such as Tearcraft were promoted.


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"It is all about making sure that people receive a fair wage for what they are doing and that we in the West are not exploiting people or their environment and culture," said Trudy. "It started with tea and coffee and now there are hundreds of food products, as well as items such as cotton clothing, roses and footballs!"

Hitchin has already held a Fairtrade fashion show and cookery demonstration and now, to mark its first year as a Fairtrade town, the Hitchin committee is hosting a Fairtrade cafe on Saturday, March 3, at Christchurch in Bedford Road, Hitchin, from 12.30pm until 2.30pm.

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Just turn up or, if you would like to book a table, call Helen Richardson on 01462 435595

If you would like to be involved in Fairtrade, contact Keith Hoskins on 01462 453335. Among the shops that stock Fairtrade products in Hitchin are Sainsbury's, Waitrose, Marks and Spencer, Halsey's, Mamas, Harvest Moon, Stripe, Quotidian, Starbucks and Oxfam.

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