ON 19 JUNE 2017 NORTHERN IRELAND WAS DECLARED A FAIRTRADE DEVOLVED REGION AT A CEREMONY IN THE GREAT HALL, PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS, BELFAST, having completed the following criteria. To declare Northern Ireland a Fairtrade region the following criteria need to be fulfilled:
- All cities and at least 55% of local authorities to have Fairtrade status;
- All local authority areas and at least 55% of towns with a population of 6,000 or more to have active Fairtrade groups working towards Fairtrade status;
- At least 60% of higher education institutions to have active Fairtrade groups working towards Fairtrade status;
- Parliament/Assembly and Government to use, promote and make available Fairtrade products internally, and to actively promote Fairtrade Fortnight each year;
- Fairtrade to be promoted in schools through the curriculum, procurement and other possible means;
- Schools, Further Education Institutions, Faith Groups, Trade Unions, business networks, voluntary and youth organisations to pledge to use and promote Fairtrade.
Fairtrade provides a commitment to enable the most marginalised small-scale producers of the developing world to successfully trade in the global market to alleviate poverty, create empowerment and a future, working towards the United Nations’ (UNs’) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), through purchasing and procurement of Fairtrade certified products.
Fairtrade commodities are produced under the strictest environmental and social conditions through internationally recognised best practices, free from exploitation, child labour and human trafficking.
Steven Agnew MLA, Chair of the All Party Group on Fairtrade said: “I am delighted that Northern Ireland has attained the status of Fairtrade region. This has come as a result of the hard work and efforts of the local Fairtrade campaign, championed by Dr Christopher Stange. This achievement is notable in that came about without the support of the Executive Office, as was the case with other devolved regions. Fairtrade status will bring about better outcomes for producers in developing countries as well as the people of Northern Ireland as consumers."
Certificate presentation from UK Fairtrade Foundation and Fairtrade Ireland declaring Northern Ireland as a Fairtrade Devolved Region (19 June 2017) in the Great Hall, Stormont Parliament Buildings, Belfast
(R-L): Adam Gardner, Communities Campaign Manager - UK Fairtrade Foundation; Anne Irwin, Director and Co-founder - Suki Tea; Dr Christopher Stange, Secretariat - All Party Group (APG) on Fairtrade & Hon. Consul for St. Vincent and the Grenadines to Northern Ireland; Tim McGarry; Steven Agnew MLA, Chairperson - APG on Fairtrade; Robin Swann MLA, Member - APG on Fairtrade; Emma Daly, Business Development Manager - Fairtrade Ireland