Hitchin marks its fairtrade status in Market Place

A TOWN celebrated World Fairtrade Day at the weekend, in a bid to raise awareness of the importance of buying fairtrade.

Hitchin, which became a Fairtrade Town in 2005 - the first in the county - marked the event in the Market Place on Saturday.

At noon, Radcliffe Arms chef James Nicholas cooked a lunch using fairtrade ingredients, and offered members of the public a taste.

There were also fairtrade stalls and entertainment throughout the day.

Helen Richardson, chairman of the Hitchin Fairtrade Town Steering Group, said: “Local vegetables and meat keep our own farmers and producers in business which is absolutely right. The foods we have to import – rice, wines, beverages etc – ought to be ethical too.

“By purchasing goods with the fairtrade label, you have a guarantee that they have been checked for good quality and the small scale farmers have earned enough to have a home with a tin roof instead of a leaking thatched one and can afford to feed their families.

“The label also means there was a premium paid too, for a community well, a school, or whatever was needed in the village.”

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Restaurants and pubs in the town are already doing their bit to make Hitchin live up to its fairtrade status.

The Radcliffe Arms stocks fairtrade wine, while chef James uses fairtrade sugar and spices.

The Highlander Pub also serves a fairtrade wine.

“If your establishment – pub or restaurant - serves fairtrade wines, beers, foods such as rice and beverages please let us know,” added Helen.

“Hitchin is known for its wide variety of restaurants so it would be good to see more on offer to the discerning customer.”

If you’re a fairtrade establishment, contact Helen by emailing helenwrich@btinternet.com