Northern Ireland has achieved 100% Fairtrade Community status, recognising every city, major town and council area across the province.
The Fairtrade status is an entire council-wide achievement with higher education institutions, schools, places of worship, workplaces and businesses all playing their vital part in the Fairtrade initiative.
The local independent grocery sector is strongly represented and committed to stocking and expanding Fairtrade products for consumers.
Northern Ireland has succeeded its 2016 targets to become a Fairtrade devolved region, surpassing Wales and Scotland in the UK Fairtrade movement, accomplishing the feat without any public funding.
Integral to the achievement have been the volunteer efforts of Fairtrade champion and regional co-ordinator Dr Christopher Stange, Consul General for St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Secretariat of the All-Party Group on Fairtrade.
On April 29, the Mid & East Antrim Fairtrade Steering Committee attained Fairtrade Borough status, completing the main goals finished by NI’s other 10 council area Fairtrade Steering Committees and making Northern Ireland a 100% Fairtrade Community.
“Fairtrade is achieving food security, gender equality, ethical and sustainable livelihoods, thriving communities, people first trade policies, decent working conditions, free from slave labour, environmental best practices, tackling climate change and inclusive economic growth,” said Dr Strange.
“We thank all our partners in Northern Ireland, as the sales growth and promotion of Fairtrade, particularly around coffee, tea and bananas, contains significant inputs from Northern Ireland on a regional level to the income and social premium paid to the poorest farmers in the developing world. Fairtrade is making a significant difference to the livelihoods of the less fortunate world-wide.”
For more information on Fairtrade in Northern Ireland or to find out how to get involved in Fairtrade please visit: www.northernirelandfairtrade.org