Lancashire celebrates becoming a Fairtrade County
A special celebration event has been held at County Hall in Preston to mark Lancashire becoming a Fairtrade county.
This makes Lancashire only the ninth county in the UK to gain Fairtrade accreditation.
The event at County Hall took place during Fairtrade Fortnight, which runs from 23 February to 8 March.
Jennifer Mein, the leader of Lancashire County Council said: "Garstang was the first Fairtrade town in 2001. Since then many towns, cities, districts and even organisations themselves have now gained accreditation and we're delighted that Lancashire has been added to this growing list.
"We've made a firm commitment to use Fairtrade products, promote Fairtrade and support the work of the Lancashire Fairtrade Steering Group.
"Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers. We want to support communities and help them to protect the areas where they live and work."
Lancashire County Council passed a resolution in 2013 to only use Fairtrade tea and coffee at its meetings, and in its offices and catering facilities whenever hot drinks are served.
Anne Garsed from the Lancashire Fairtrade Steering Group said: "This is a real milestone for the people of Lancashire. As the cradle of the Fairtrade Town movement, we are delighted to be recognised as a Fairtrade County, with well over half the population of Lancashire living in a Fairtrade town or borough. Lancashire folk are truly showing their support for producers in the developing world."
Representatives from the county council were joined at the event by representatives from Blackburn Diocese and the Methodist District, who have already gained Fairtrade accreditation.
They were also joined by Fairtrade champions from each of Lancashire's 12 districts, as well as representatives from local groups including some of the team who made Garstang into the world's first Fairtrade town.
The University of Central Lancashire and Lancaster University are also Fairtrade accredited. Many schools and colleges are also accredited, along with seven of the 12 districts in Lancashire – Burnley, Fylde, Hyndburn, Lancaster, Pendle, Preston, and South Ribble.
For more details visit www.fairtrade.org.uk.
Notes for Editors:
The attached photograph shows Chairman of the county council Kevin Ellard with Adam Gardner of the Fairtrade Foundation
For further information please contact: Stephen Axon on 01772 533 194