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Derry City and Strabane District Council achieves Fairtrade status

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Derry City and Strabane District Council achieves Fairtrade status thumbnailUrsula Gallagher, Roisin Bradley, Maolíosa McHugh, Heather Hamilton, Martina McComish and Jim Keys during a visit to the local school where council celebrated achieving full Fairtrade status.

MAYOR of Derry City and Strabane District Council (DCSDC) joined the pupils of Knockavoe School and Resource Centre in Strabane this week to celebrate the council area achieving full Fairtrade status.

Councillor Maolíosa McHugh visited the school to find out more about the work they have been doing to discover how Fairtrade operates and promote the Fairtrade message.

In 2014 the former Derry City Council was awarded Fairtrade City Status and building on this achievement Derry City and Strabane District Council passed a resolution in 2015 to demonstrate council's support for a campaign to achieve Fairtrade status for the whole council area.

DCSDC is now the first council in Northern Ireland to achieve Fairtrade District Status. The accolade was awarded jointly by Fairtrade Foundation and Fairtrade Ireland.

Mayor McHugh said he was delighted that council is taking the lead in raising awareness about responsible trading and supporting disadvantaged producers and workers in developing areas.

"I think it's fantastic that Derry and Strabane Council is taking an active approach to changing people's trading habits by raising awareness of the issue. If local people choose Fairtrade products it will directly impact on improving the livelihoods and working conditions of people living in developing countries, ensuring sustainable production and reducing opportunities for exploitation."

 

The council is part of a Fairtrade Steering Group that promotes Fairtrade locally and a number of awareness events have taken place throughout the year including one for both primary and secondary schools.

Roisin Bradley, the Rights Respecting School co-ordinator at Knockavoe school, said their pupils had been working hard to promote the values of Fairtrade and encourage people to consider buying Fairtrade products such as tea, coffee, sugar, chocolate and bananas.

"We are a Rights Respecting School Level 2 and the rights of pupils are at the heart of everything we do," she explained. "We actively promote Fairtrade awareness and support. The pupils enjoy various multi-sensory activities to enhance their understanding of Fairtrade.

"By taking an active approach and encouraging others to make better shopping choices and to purchase Fairtrade goods we are helping to ensure that the rights of workers are also supported in both the local and wider community."

Work has also been ongoing on a regional level to support the campaign for Northern Ireland to achieve the status as a Fairtrade devolved region.

Further information on Fairtrade may be found on both the websites for Fairtrade Ireland www.fairtrade.ie and the Fairtrade Foundation www.fairtrade.org.uk or contacting Heather Hamilton at Derry City and Strabane District Council on 028 71253253 or emailing fairtrade@derrystrabane.com

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