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    Fairtrade Fortnight - Fairtrade Yorkshire

    Monday, 24 February 2020  |  Joanna

    Fairtrade Fortnight 2020 lasts from Monday 24 February to Sunday 8 March.

    We'll be taking some time to talk about the impact of Fairtrade in our lives.

    In January 2019 our founder Joanna started a new voluntary role at the head of Fairtrade Yorkshire the UK's biggest Fairtrade region. She explains here what the work means to her:

    Yorkshire has 38 Fairtrade places, and 5.5 million people which means it's comparable with Scotland in terms of population size.

    Co-ordinating Fairtrade promotional activities across such a huge geographical area - from villages like Haworth and Cherry Burton to cities like Hull, Sheffield, Leeds, Bradford and York - poses a few challenges but it does mean I get around this gorgeous county quite a bit. As a Lancastrian, it's been great visiting so many Fairtrade places in Yorkshire and getting to know more about the communities big and small.

    All's Fair has regular stalls in North, East, South and West Yorkshire and one of the things I've always loved is taking the fair trade message into lots of different communities, so taking up the Co-ordinator role at Fairtrade Yorkshire was a logical next step.

    Taking over in January made sense for me as Christmas is so busy with All's Fair stalls, but it meant I was straight into planning for Fairtrade Fortnight. I was invited to speak at events in Skipton, Hull, York and Huddersfield, and helped organise the visit of the CEO of the Fairtrade Foundation, Mike Gidney, to Yorkshire. He visited groups in Hull and York, Fairer World in York and York St John University and appeared on That's York TV in a visit that lasted less than 24 hours.  

    Organising Conferences was a big part of my role in BAFTS (more of that on Friday) so I really enjoyed organising my first Fairtrade Yorkshire Conference in Ilkley which had a focus on Places of Worship.

    Last August I was invited to Haworth for the celebration of the fair trade twinning of the West Yorkshire village with Machu Picchu in Peru. Other attendees included Fairtrade Towns pioneer Bruce Crowther, CEO of Cafe Direct John Steele and the Peruvian Ambassador and his wife. Just six weeks later I was in Hull's Trinity Square working with 200 volunteers to recreate the Fairtrade mark as part of a national campaign to celebrate the 25th birthday of the Fairtrade mark.

    Fairtrade Yorkshire had a successful campaign for Yorkshire Day (1 August) where the Fairtrade mark was photographed next to Yorkshire landmarks by local campaigners.

    They have also launched the Fairtrade Detectives website (www.fairtradedetectives.uk) where members of the public can upload details of the places where Fairtrade and fair trade goods can be bought in Yorkshire. 

    Fairtrade Yorkshire's latest campaign is "Don't Give Up On Fairtrade This Lent" which encourages people who might otherwise give up chocolate for Lent, to instead pledge to eat only Fairtrade chocolate - having a positive impact on cocoa farmers, and hopefully engaging communities in a conversation about the benefits of Fairtrade.  

    If you want to find out more about Fairtrade Yorkshire, click this link.