A large milestone in creating awareness and future markets for Fairtrade farmers such as those in the St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) was achieved in Northern Ireland two days before Christmas.
The first in a series of road signs proclaiming the status of Northern Ireland’s capital, Belfast, as a Fairtrade City has been unveiled on one of the city’s main arterial routes.
The sign was unveiled on Dec. 22 by Councilor Nichola Mallon, lord mayor of Belfast and Christopher Stange, honorary consul for SVG to Northern Ireland and chair ofFairtrade Belfast on the Antrim Road, opposite the entrance to Belfast Zoo.
The initiative marks the award of Fairtrade City status to the capital city of Belfast for the ninth year in a row, and its ongoing commitment to developing world farmers, specifically from the Caribbean and Africa.
The strapline “A Fairtrade City” has been added to the existing Welcome to Belfast signage on main roads into the city, including the Ormeau Road, Crumlin Road and the Upper Newtownards Road.
In addition, it will be added to the M1 Motorway signage in early 2015.
Fairtrade is about guaranteeing better prices, decent working conditions, sustainable ethical practices and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world.
“The Fairtrade City status, conferred by both the UK Fairtrade Foundation and Fairtrade Ireland, recognises the work done by the voluntary Fairtrade Steering Committee for over a decade in raising the profile of Fairtrade in the city. Since 2005, the number of city centre shops, cafes, and businesses offering Fairtrade certified products has grown to more than 100 — and continues to grow. Most of the major high street stores as well as the smaller independent retailers are now stocking many of the more than 3,000 high quality Fairtrade products available on the market,”
the Lord Mayor said.
“I would like to thank Belfast City Council and all stakeholders in having the Fairtrade accolade of City status highlighted, particularly the efforts made for those less fortunate and extremely hard working farmers in the developing world that produce high quality items we all readily consume,” Stange said.