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Town makes Fairtrade bid

February 20, 2009 12:00 AM
By Brentwood Gazette reporter in Brentwood Gazette
Ross Carter, candidate for Brentwood North

Cllr Ross Carter is an active member of the steering group

ETHICALLY-MINDED residents, pupils and businesses are working together to make Brentwood Fairtrade.

The town must meet five goals to secure Fairtrade status and the group will be out in force this Fairtrade Fortnight to help make it happen.

A Fairtrade town is one that has made a commitment to supporting and promoting the principles of Fairtrade and Fairtrade products, and through that supports disadvantaged farmers and workers in developing countries.

Steering group member Caryl Kwei, from Brentwood Place, said she hopes Brentwood can achieve Fairtrade status before next year's Fairtrade Fortnight, which began this year on Monday. They already have the support of the borough council.

She said: "People are becoming more aware of ethical issues and more receptive to them."

Four sixth-formers from Shenfield High School have joined the steering group and man a stall during their lunch break with Fairtrade snacks and products.

One of the students, Sophie Mihailovic, 18, said: "I think it is important to educate the younger students about Fairtrade."

Businesses and organisations around the borough are also making a commitment to supporting Fairtrade Fortnight.

On Saturday Phoenix FM will officially become a Fairtrade radio station. Later on that day a presentation will be made to the manager of the Green Bean Coffee Co in Shenfield, Suzanne Albrecht, to thank her for supporting Fairtrade.

On March 6, all the sixth-formers at Shenfield High School will take part in the nationwide Fairtrade banana-eating world record attempt, with 250 bananas being donated by Sainsbury's.

Displays will be put up at Brentwood, Shenfield and Ingatestone libraries and the town hall.

There will also be a stall at the United Reformed Church in New Road on Wednesdays and Fridays from 10am to noon and an information stall at the chapel ruins in the High Street.

A councillor on the steering group, Cllr Ross Carter, said: "We want to show people that by making small choices while shopping it makes a large positive impact."