High-profile speaker line-up announced for South West Fairtrade Business Awards

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Tickets for next week’s South West Fairtrade Business Awards ceremony have gone on sale as the full line-up of speakers is announced for the high-profile event.

The prestigious awards – now in their fifth year – showcase organisations across the region for their commitment to using and promoting fairly traded products, and embedding Fairtrade values in their organisations.

More than 50 organisations and individuals will be recognised at the awards ceremony, which takes place between 11.30am and 2pm on Friday, March 10, in Bristol Cathedral.

Speaking at the event will be Neal’s Yard Remedies managing director Helen Cooper, pictured below, who will host the ceremony. Helen has stepped in following an unexpected overseas engagement for Neal’s Yard owner and formerly announced speaker Peter Kindersley.

Also confirmed to open the event is Bristol City Cllr Helen Holland, pictured below, cabinet member for place to Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees.

She will speak alongside prominent members of the region’s business community, including Rebecca Pritchard, head of business banking at Bristol-based ethical bank Triodos, and South West TUC secretary Nigel Costly, as well as representatives from award sponsors Burges Salmon, Wogan Coffee and The New Room.

Nicaraguan Fairtrade coffee and cocoa producer Maura Jarquín Blandon, pictured below, will speak about her experience of Fairtrade farming in her home community of Salto.

The ceremony is the highlight in the calendar for the South West region’s Fairtrade Fortnight events, a campaign from Fairtrade Foundation that this year encourages businesses and the public to put Fairtrade in their break and support Fairtrade to drive much-needed change for farmers in developing countries.

Guests at the ceremony will be treated to a Fairtrade break of their own, with Fairtrade coffee roasted in the heart of Bristol by Wogan Coffee and locally made brownies from Fair & Square, using Fairtrade ingredients.

Bristol Business News is media partner of these prestigious awards for the fourth year running.

Tickets for the event, which includes a Middle Eastern buffet lunch provided by the Palestinian Museum & Cultural Centre’s Rest-Bite Café, are available from https://fairtradeawards2017.eventbrite.co.uk