City leaders, volunteers and business leaders gathered last night in the beautiful Orangery at Goldney Hall, bedecked with Fairtrade cotton bunting, to celebrate Bristol’s 10 years as a Fairtrade City. Bristol is one of only five cities in the world that have held this status continually for more than 10 years.
The Right Honourable, the Lord Mayor of Bristol, Councillor Alastair Watson, opened the event, and stressed how important it is that Bristol continues to trade fairly. Angela Jarquin, Fairtrade cocoa Producer from Nicaragua visiting Bristol for Fairtrade Fortnight, brought home how important Fairtrade is for her and her community, and the difference it makes to farmers’ incomes and stability.
Mayor George Ferguson was delighted to mark ‘such a significant milestone for Bristol. Trading fairly is essential to alleviating world poverty and achieving global equality and I am extremely proud of Bristol’s international reputation for Fairtrade campaigning.’
Jenny Foster, Bristol Fairtrade Co-ordinator, took the guests on a whistle-stop tour of the 10 years of Bristol Fairtrade events and campaigns, including the world’s largest Fairtrade Fashion Shows at Bristol Cathedral and Broadmead Mall, and the world’s first Fairtrade Business Awards.
Kevin McCullough, Head of Campaigns at the Fairtrade Foundation in London, paid tribute to Bristol’s role as one of the leading Fairtrade cities in the world, as well as emphasising that Fairtrade campaigning continues to be vital. There are ever increasing challenges for farmers in developing countries; 50% of the hungriest people in the world are smallholder farmers who grow food that we love.
The vital role of volunteers in Bristol Fairtrade’s achievements was recognised by the presentation of certificates in fair trade frames.
The event was a wonderful celebration of what has been achieved, as well as an inspiring call to continue to promote Fairtrade in the city for years to come.