On the 19th June 2017, Northern Ireland was declared a Fair Trade devolved region, joining Wales and Scotland as Fair Trade nations and regions.
Northern Ireland has become a Fair Trade devolved region after fulfilling the main targets of having all its five cities and six of its 11 councils attaining Fairtrade status, to include their respective towns. Central government, higher education institutions, schools, places of worship, businesses and workplaces have also played a vital role in the initiative, many attained or working towards Fairtrade accreditation. 18 Northern Ireland towns and one island have achieved Fairtrade status with the remaining 17 currently working toward with active groups. Two-thirds of higher education institutions have achieved or working towards the Fairtrade standard.
Comments and messages of congratulations:
Steven Agnew MLA, Chair of the All Party Group on Fairtrade said: “I am delighted that Northern Ireland has attained the status of Fairtrade region. This has come as a result of the hard work and efforts of the local Fairtrade campaign, championed by Dr Christopher Stange. This achievement is notable in that came about without the support of the Executive Office, as was the case with other devolved regions. Fairtrade status will bring about better outcomes for producers in developing countries as well as the people of Northern Ireland as consumers.”
Peter Gaynor, Executive Director Fairtrade Ireland said: “We have seen local authorities, Fairtrade Towns groups and the All Party Group on Fairtrade do a huge amount in recent years in Northern Ireland to promote Fairtrade. It is a real achievement from all of this work that they are now becoming a Fairtrade devolved region – And of course Christopher Stange himself deserves a very big thank you for all his work personally. Fairtrade began with the dedicated work of small groups of people and this is a great example of these groups coming together to achieve something bigger together. “
Michael Gidney, Chief Executive UK Fairtrade Foundation said: “Congratulations to all the communities, individuals and organisations who’ve worked tirelessly over many years promoting Fairtrade across Northern Ireland on this achievement. Fairtrade has shown that together we can effect real change for farming communities in the global south, yet in too many places, Fairtrade products remain the exception, not the rule. From Stormont to community groups, churches to corner shops, it’s fantastic to see the people of Northern Ireland finding new ways to unite communities and stand up for marginalised farmers and workers who deserve a better deal. Joining forces as a devolved region through Fairtrade sends a powerful message that Northern Ireland is committed to ending the scandal of unfair trade.”
Dr Christopher Stange, Secretariat All Party Group on Fairtrade & Hon. Consul for St. Vincent and the Grenadines to Northern Ireland said: “This regional commitment to the developing world through local action and purchasing Fairtrade products is the culmination of two decades of voluntary action, uniting all sections of society. Through Fairtrade we ensure a better future for those less fortunate creating a lasting legacy and connection between the developing world and Northern Ireland.”
Everyone at Fair Trade Wales would like to wish all those who were part of the campaign a huge congratulations!
Find out more HERE.