Fairtrade!

As a Fairtrade City and District, Derry City and Strabane District Council are committed to promoting and using products with the Fairtrade Mark. Many activities take place throughout the year. Help us by organising your own activity or become part of the district’s Fairtrade Steering Group.

Email: foylefairtrade@gmail.com

What is Fairtrade?

Fairtrade is a partnership between some of the most disadvantaged farmers and workers in the developing world and businesses and consumers here. The international Fairtrade system – made up of Fairtrade International and its member organisations – represents the world’s largest and most recognised Fairtrade system. It ensures a better deal for small producers and their communities in a global market.  Its FAIRTRADE Mark is a guarantee of standards worked out internationally with these producers that add the element of justice and equality to our consumer choices. While the FAIRTRADE Mark indicates that the specific product has been certified to give a better deal to the producers involved – it does not as an endorsement of an entire company’s business practices.

Donna McFeely presents the 'Fairtrade is an act of love' poster to visiting Fairtrade banana farmer Maria Genao from Dominican Republic.
Donna McFeely presents the 'Fairtrade is an act of love' poster to visiting Fairtrade banana farmer Maria Genao from Dominican Republic.

What does Fairtrade mean for the producers involved? 

Social Development & Environmental Protection: Fairtrade Standards require producers to organise in a democratic and transparent structure in bringing their produce to market.  They also require adherence to environmentally sound agricultural practices and safe working conditions for workers.       

Sustainable Economic Development – The price they get in return is made up of two elements:

  • The Fairtrade Minimum Price, which gives a guaranteed minimum return for their produce in a fluctuating global market.
  • The Fairtrade Premium enables them to improve the lives of their communities.                              

This international partnership has delivered health care, education, clean water and many other benefits enabling producer communities to gain control over their lives. 

Jim Keys in columbia
In 2018 Jim Keys went to Columbia to meet Fairtrade farmers, see a farm and meet the community whose lives it affects. This is him just after planting a coffee tree . On the right is Sara Montoya another Fairtrade Coffee producer who was Foyle Fairtrade’s visiting producer in 2019.

We are a Fairtrade City…  and District!

In 2014 Derry City Council was awarded Fairtrade City status. This meant that there was sufficient awareness of Fairtrade across the city, that an initial threshold percentage of schools, retailers, churches and businesses were supporting it and that council had committed to serving Fairtrade products in their meetings, offices and canteens.

A key aspect of maintaining Fairtrade status is an ongoing commitment to promote Fairtrade as it’s only a great idea when people buy the products it certifies. 

So in 2015 when the new council areas came into being the Fairtrade Steering Group extended its promotional work across it and got the new council to pass a resolution declaring its support.

Derry City & Strabane District Council (DCSDC) was awarded Fairtrade District Status in 2018, the first Council in Northern Ireland to achieve this accolade. 

City sign
A fairtrade city sign

What’s the benefit of achieving Fairtrade District Status?

Fairtrade is a way for us as citizens to make consumer choices that positively influencing global justice.  This is powerful even when we act as individuals but more powerful still when we act as a family, a group, a workplace, a school, a place of learning, a faith community, or a city and district.  In so doing we demonstrate practical solidarity with the majority world, and help others to become conscious of the effects of our consumption as we become more “trade literate”.  DCSDC now serve Fairtrade tea and coffee in all our meetings, offices and canteens. 

Fairtrade Foundation & Fairtrade Ireland

Derry City and Strabane District Council’s certification is affiliated to both the Fairtrade Foundation and Fairtrade Ireland.  These are independent non-profit organisations that license the use of the Fairtrade Mark on products in the UK and Ireland respectively in accordance with internationally agreed Fairtrade standards.  They envisage establishing a world in which justice and sustainable development are at the heart of trade structures and practices so that everyone, through their work, can maintain a decent and dignified livelihood and develop their full potential

Fairtrade Product

There are now over 3,000 Fairtrade products sold in the UK and Ireland. These include tea, coffee, chocolate, sugar, bananas, pineapples, mangoes, apples, citrus fruits, juices, biscuits, cakes, honey, jam, rice, herbs & spices, wines, yoghurt, ice cream, flowers, sports balls and cotton products. 

fairtrade pop up
Foyle Fairtrade’s PopUp Shop at the quarterly Environmental Gathering in St Columb’s Park House

Fairtrade Fortnight & Fairtrade Campaigns

Many promotional activities take place throughout the year with Fairtrade Fortnight being the highlight. It is usually held at the end of February into March each year and is widely celebrated in the area.

Please support Fairtrade Fortnight by encouraging your friends, family, community and workplaces to attend its promotional events and buy Fairtrade products.  You can organise your own event or join in with one already taking place.

As a Fairtrade City and District, Derry City and Strabane District Council are committed to promoting and using products with the Fairtrade Mark. Many activities take place throughout the year. Why not help up by organising your own activity or become part of the district’s Fairtrade Steering Group?

With care, education, clean water and many other benefits enabling producer communities to gain control over their lives.

A key aspect of maintaining Fairtrade status is an ongoing commitment to promote Fairtrade as it’s only a great idea when people buy the products it certifies.  So in 2015 when the new council areas came into being the Fairtrade Steering Group extended its promotional work across it and got the new council to pass a resolution declaring its support. Derry City & Strabane District Council (DCSDC) was awarded Fairtrade District Status in 2018, the first Council in Northern Ireland to achieve this accolade.  

How to get involved

There are several ways for Individuals, Schools, Colleges, Universities, Communities, Faith Groups and Workplaces to help support and promote Fairtrade.  First and foremost we can do this by buying (or selling) Fairtrade Mark branded products.  Likewise, if you are already using and committed to Fairtrade and have events happening or something you’d like us to share, please let us know. We believe in the importance of community engagement for trade justice issues and believe that when we work together the change is even more powerful!

Help us create a map of Fairtrade locally

We are collating data to create a map of Fairtrade premises, please consider helping us by filling out the survey that best reflects your organisation: –

Foyle Fairtrade Catering Survey

Foyle Fairtrade Retail Survey

Foyle Fairtrade Schools & Colleges Survey

Foyle Fairtrade Workplace Survey

Foyle Fairtrade Places of Worship Survey

Use or become a Fairtrade business

Across the council area, several businesses are promoting Fairtrade including Cafes, Supermarkets, Hotels and Wholesalers.

Find out how to be a Fairtrade business on the Fairtrade Foundation website.  Please visit https://www.fairtrade.org.uk/For-Business

Be a Fairtrade school

Several local schools have Fairtrade status and many others are working towards it. Many schools teach pupils about the ideas underlying Fairtrade as part of the curriculum programme.  The following link outlines schools registered on the Fairtrade Schools Directory.

https://schools.fairtrade.org.uk/fairtrade-schools-awards/fairtrade-school-directory

Get involved with the Fairtrade Steering Group

Maintaining Fairtrade status requires an ongoing commitment to promoting Fairtrade and Fairtrade International’s criteria. This important work is carried for the Council area by Foyle Fairtrade, our local Fairtrade Steering Group which operates across the City and District Council area.

Foyle Fairtrade is made up of a voluntary group of individuals, organisations, businesses, supported by a Council that meets on an ongoing basis to develop the work.

Meetings are usually held on a Thursday and are informal, relaxed and productive.  Anyone with an interest in Fairtrade, should join the network or take a more active role as a member of the Steering Group.

Email: foylefairtrade@gmail.com

Social Media

For more information like our Facebook page or drop us an email at foylefairtrade@gmail.com

Videos

Anna Michael Mlay in Derry (2011) – A video of Anna Michael May in 2011 overjoyed to find coffee from her cooperative in our Sainsbury’s.  Anna is the coordinator of Karagwe District Cooperative Union in Tanzania, a Fairtrade cooperative of 18,000 individual members.

Sigfredo Benitez coffee farmer from El Salvador (2012) – A 4 minute video in which Sigfredo Benitez of Los Pinos Cooperative, El Salvador explains practically how the Fairtrade Minimum Price and the Fairtrade Premium work and the difference it makes.  He visits the city and was accompanied by Dunstan Burke of Fairtrade Ireland in 2012.

Jim Keys as we become A Fairtrade City – The moment Derry became a Fairtrade City and the honoured guests that helped us mark the occasion, Alfredo Ortaga, from Belize Sugar Cane Cooperative, Alex Flores a Cashew Nut farmer from El Salvador and Peter Gaynor of Fairtrade Ireland.  We are the 50th Fairtrade Town/City in Ireland and the 570th in the UK.  The event was hosted by the Derry City Council Mayor Martin Reilly.

Play Video

Donna McFeely launching Fairtrade Fortnight (2015) – A wee video of the launch by Donna McFeely of Foyle Fairtrade’s 2015 Fairtrade Fortnight Events.  It features stunning photographs of the Cotton onto Fairtrade exhibition that ran throughout that fortnight in Eden Place Arts Centre.  It also marks the moment Pilot’s Row Community Centre became Fairtrade.

Visit Fairtrade Websites and Social Media Platforms

Get local Schools involved

Schools can be a powerful vehicle for change; engaging with students on issues of global justice and wealth inequality can provide students with the knowledge, skills and values they need to create a fair and sustainable world.

Fairtrade actions can be part of the student council’s agenda or it can be the efforts of a few students or the efforts of a whole school. The Fairtrade Foundation offer many ways to get your students involved; through lesson plans, assembly ideas, and practical ideas for using and promoting Fairtrade goods.

By a school becoming Fair-Aware, Fair-Active or Fair-Achiever, it can share and celebrate its efforts and actions and inspire other school communities to join the Fairtrade movement.

Learning about Fairtrade meets the requirements of the Northern Ireland Curriculum at Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3

For more information and ways to get your school involved:

https://schools.fairtrade.org.uk/fairtrade-schools-awards/fairtrade-school-directory#page-1

https://schools.fairtrade.org.uk

Purchase Fairtrade locally and online

https://shop.fairtrade.org.uk

Sign up for the Fairtrade Newsletter

https://action.fairtrade.org.uk/page/16244/subscribe/1

Contact the local Fairtrade Steering Group across Derry City and Strabane District Council area by e-mailing: foylefairtrade@gmail.com