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Fairtrade chance by the spring

PUBLISHED: 15:02 04 December 2008 | UPDATED: 12:27 03 July 2010

CONFIDENT campaigners believe the Great Yarmouth borough could have Fairtrade status as early as next spring if sufficient support can be gained from businesses in the town.

CONFIDENT campaigners believe the Great Yarmouth borough could have Fairtrade status as early as next spring if sufficient support can be gained from businesses in the town.

Yarmouth MP Tony Wright made the bold prediction at a meeting to launch the bid at the town's Christ Church in King Street last Friday , which was attended by 40 people including local councillors, representatives of businesses and community organisations and students.

He said: “It has been an excellent start to the campaign. We have had positive feedback from people who could not turn up as well as those who are here tonight and I think we can make a difference in a very positive way for third world farmers.”

The audience, which had braved freezing winds and driving rain to attend the meeting, heard Mr Wright describe how he decided to apply for the status after discussing it with staff in his office after visiting his constituency in October.

The idea behind the Fairtrade movement is to help Third World farmers and producers out of poverty by selling their exports, including handicrafts, sugar and cocoa, in developed countries for fair prices. Fairtrade specifically works with marginalised producers to help them gain a position of self-sufficiency and supports the communities around them.

But to gain the status, the borough has to meet five goals, which include:

The borough council pass a resolution to serve fair-trade coffee and tea at its meetings.

Fairtrade products are sold in the area's shops, cafes and catering establishments

Fairtrade products are used in workplaces.

Media coverage is attracted for the campaign

A steering group is set up to maintain the town's Fairtrade

The meeting also heard from Craig Millward and Helen Farman from the Light of Life Baptist Church in Ormesby, who spoke of their involvement with the Fairtrade movement.

Mr Millward told a story which highlighted the problems faced by Third World entrepreneurs in getting their products sold at a fair price; and he said he was looking at helping a church in the Philippines which was selling recycled goods and which wanted to become free of a French entrepreneur and become self-sufficient.

So far, 21 catering and 11 retail outlets in the borough have agreed to sell Fairtrade products.

A number of students also attended the meeting and Mr Wright said: “It is important to get young people involved in this campaign. In a short space of time, I think we will qualify as a Fairtrade borough.”

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