Uppingham Town Partnership targets Fairtrade town status

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A town partnership is hoping to prove its dedication to local and third world producers by bidding for Fairtrade town status.

Uppingham Town Partnership is hoping to have the status by early next year and has set up a steering group led by the partnership’s vice-chairman Marc Oxley, a Rutland county councillor.

The town partnership must meet five criteria set by the Fairtrade Foundation, which decides which towns get the status.

The criteria is designed to increase understanding of trade and development issues and sales of products certified by independent labelling organisations dedicated to guaranteeing a better deal for farmers in developing countries.

Coun Oxley said: “Upp-ingham becoming a Fairtrade town would show visitors to the town and residents alike the benefits of Fairtrade products.

“Buying Fairtrade goods is easy and will benefit not only producers in the developing world but also farmers in this country. It also ensures the food we eat is grown sustainably.”

Coun Oxley said the Fairtrade Foundation not only helped producers in the third world but also lobbied supermarkets to pay a fair price to local suppliers.

As part of the criteria the town partnership must: make sure Fairtrade products are available in at least four shops or restaurants; ensure Uppingham Town Council passes a resolution supporting Fairtrade; encourage schools, workplaces, churches and community organisations to support Fairtrade and raise awareness of what the town is doing.

Coun Oxley said: “The schools and churches in Uppingham are already well aware of Fairtrade and Rutland Youth Council will be holding a Fairtrade stand at the late night shopping event on December 6.

“We are working very closely with the Rutland Fairtrade Steering Group and they are being very supportive.”

To find out more about the group’s plans visit www.theuppinghamtownpartner