Oct 23 2013

London Celebrates Fairtrade Success; Harrow Lagging Behind


London has celebrated five years of being the world’s largest Fairtrade city last night – with Harrow pledging to work towards Fairtrade status.

Harrow’s leader, Cllr Susan Hall, and Mayor Nana Asante were among guests at City Hall in London who joined together to celebrate the capital’s achievement.

Michael Gidney, Chief Executive of Fairtrade Foundation, told guests at the event: “Motivating a city the size of London to commit to Fairtrade is no easy task, and it is with great pride that I want to congratulate Fairtrade London for all of the hard work they have done; not only to spur the entire capital into taking Fairtrade action, but to maintain and grow that over the past five years. We know London will continue to campaign for fairer terms of trade.”

Other high profile guests at the event included the Chair of London Food Board Rosie Boycott, David Lammy MP and Fatima Ismael, from Soppexcca Coffee Coop, Nicaragua. A specially commissioned cake by Jane Asher, which is crafted from Fairtrade chocolate to represent London’s famous skyline, was also presented to the Fairtrade London committee.

Cllr Susan Hall pledged that Harrow would continue to work to become the next London borough to achieve Fairtrade status, declaring: “Harrow has proclaimed itself to be a cleaner, safer and fairer borough, and there is nothing fairer than ensuring the world’s food suppliers get a reasonable price for their output.”

Harrow’s Mayor, Cllr Asante, added: “’We are really ambitious in Harrow about Fairtrade and the fact that our shopping decisions can make a big difference in people’s lives.”

The Fairtrade label appears on products to show that disadvantaged producers are getting a better deal from trade. Today, more than 1.24 million people – farmers and workers – across more than 60 developing countries benefit from the international Fairtrade system.

Over 4,500 products have been licensed to carry the Fairtrade mark including coffee, tea, chocolate, cocoa, sugar, bananas, smoothies, biscuits, cakes & snacks, honey, jams & preserves, yoghurt, ice-cream, flowers, sports balls, sugar body scrub and cotton products including clothing, homeware, cloth toys, cotton wool, olive oil, gold, silver and platinum.

fairtrade_cakeThe following boroughs of London have Fairtrade status: Brent, Camden, City of London, Croydon, Ealing, Enfield, Greenwich, Hackney, Hammersmith & Fulham, Haringey, Hounslow, Islington, Kingston, Lambeth, Lewisham, Merton, Newham, Redbridge, Richmond, Southwark, Sutton, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest.

Photo Credit: Rob Kenyon

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  1. Linda Robinson

    Cllr Asante has always been unwavering in her championship of Fairtrade, and all power to Cllr Hall if she finally manages to pull Harrow over the few simple hurdles that most London boroughs jumped years ago. So far, though. there is no way to interpret this latest fanfare as any sort of pat-on-the-back story for Harrow.

    In 2009, when David Ashton was Leader of the Council, I told him that I was ashamed on behalf of Harrow to read in the London Fairtrade Guide that my borough had failed to achieve the Fairtrade status that 21 other boroughs had already achieved. This was the response I got (and over four years later still nothing has happened):

    —– Original Message —–
    From: David Ashton
    To: Linda Robinson
    Cc: Mike Howes
    Sent: Wednesday, July 29, 2009 12:26 PM
    Subject: Fairtrade Status

    Dear Linda

    Thank you for your email of July 21 regarding Fairtrade.

    As you know, the Council resolved in 2006 to seek Fairtrade town status and, initially, good progress was made. The officer who was leading the work then left the Council and we found it difficult to identify which part of the Council should take the lead in this work.

    We have now agreed that the Policy and Partnerships Service will take the lead. The Service has been heavily involved in preparing for the Comprehensive Area Assessment and various other initiatives but has been able to prioritise Fairtrade from July onwards and, indeed, the embryonic Council steering group met on July 28. Part of that meeting will be to consider how to reconstitute a wider and more representative steering group as required by the 5 Fairtrade town goals.

    The comments from Jon Cope in the London Fairtrade Guide may well have represented what we hoped would be the position but, unfortunately, the pressures of other commitments has delayed progress. Mike Howes has, however, assured me that there is now capacity to bring this work to a successful conclusion.

    Yours sincerely

    David Ashton
    (July 29, 2009)

  2. All things Good

    Mike Howes do you want to respond the above poster?

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