It was the largest event yet hosted by Exeter Community Centre and the Global Centre. Over 60 people attended the South West Fairtrade Day in September. The Day was an opportunity to share the successes of Fairtrade across the South West, share good practice, explore some of the challenges and look ahead with renewed enthusiasm and passion to further promoting Fairtrade across the region.
Tim Gorringe from Exeter University gave a challenging keynote speech in which he urged those attending to see Fairtrade in the context of wider global issues such as trade justice, power within the global market economy and climate change.
There was a strong emphasis on sustainability throughout the day and the contribution Fairtrade is making to bringing about social and environmental justice. Participants heard how small-scale Fairtrade farming methods and principles is the way forward to feed the world and produce lower carbon emissions.
Workshops included Fairtrade schools which looked particularly at promotion of Fairtrade school uniforms and how this could dramatically increase the sale of Fairtrade cotton; exploring challenges and ideas to increase sales in shops, stalls and on-line; and how to work with councils on promoting Fairtrade and becoming or retaining Fairtrade town/city status.
Andrew Bell from DDE who attended the day said: “It was great to see so many people there who are still passionate and committed to pushing forward the Fairtrade agenda. It was also good to see a strong emphasis on how Fairtrade relates to and can help solve some of the wider global challenges we face such as climate change, environmental degradation, resource depletion and the power that the free market and financial capital over lives across the globe.”
Fairtrade Foundation Campaigns Officer, Adam Gardener, revealed that the focus for Fairtrade Fortnight 2013 would be Food Security, with the slogan: “Go further for Fairtrade”!