French visitors find out about Fairtrade as they cross the channel to check out Hitchin’s standing

M<ore than 50 French teenagers from Salins-les Bains in the Jura region descended on Hitchin which t

M - Credit: Archant

A group of more than 50 French students spent part of their Easter holiday in Hitchin, finding out what it means to be a Fairtrade town.

The teenagers from the Lycee Victor Considerant in Salins-les Bains near the Swiss border had been learning about the worldwide movement at school and wanted to see how the idea worked in action.

Hitchin was the first Fairtrade town in Hertfordshire – the status is called ‘commerce equitable’ but is not as advanced as it is on this side of the channel.

Hitchin Fairtrade Town steering group chair Helen Richardson and treasurer John Addison welcomed them to Christchurch, in Bedford Road, where town centre manager Keith Hoskins was also on hand.

Helen explained some of the Fairtrade products stocked by stores including Harvest Moon and Hawkins in Bucklersbury and Boots in the High Street, and explained how Fairtrade status in the UK depended on wider community involvement as well as retail support – for example, businesses such as estate agencies and other organisations including schools, colleges and churches serving Fairtrade refreshments, as well as the public profile of the project and local authority support.

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The group would be happy to hear from retailers offering Fairtrade products who would like to be added to the existing directory – email for more.

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