Rye plays lead role in Fairtrade Fortnight

RYE is celebrating the fact that it is a Fairtrade Town this week with shops and businesses helping to raise awareness of Fairtrade Fortnight.

Fairtrade speaker Christine Ward will be at St Mary’s Church on Sunday morning presenting real-life examples of three producers whose lives, and the lives of their communities, have been improved by Fairtrade.

She will be speaking during the 10.30 am service which will be followed by Fairtrade coffee and biscuits at 11.30am. There will also be Fairtrade stalls in the church.

Ann Hamilton, who helped lead the move for Rye to become a Fairtrade Town, said: “This is a national event, drawing attention to the numerous products available carrying the Fairtrade Mark, which guarantees a fair return for their labour to producers in 64 countries in the developing world.

“Many local shops and eateries in Rye - a Fairtrade Town – sell goods carrying the Mark. If you have not tried them yet this can be your chance to make new discoveries.

“A total of 7.5 million farmers and workers, and their families and communities, take part in Fairtrade initiatives and Sunday offers the opportunity to see and hear concrete evidence of the result.

“If you are not free to attend the service you are most welcome to come at 11.30 am for coffee and biscuits and hear more about the producers and to browse and buy at stalls overflowing with groceries, accessories, and crafts, all bearing the Fairtrade Mark.”

Rye became a Fairtrade Town in 2009 following a local campaign.

To achieve the Fairtrade Town status, Rye had to pass five challenges set by the Foundation.

These included getting Rye council to pass a resolution to support Fairtrade, proving that two retail and one catering outlet in the town stock Fairtrade goods, showing that several businesses and community organisations were using Fairtrade goods in the workplace, setting up an appropriate media campaign and also appointing a steering group to oversee the whole project.