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Director of Public Engagement at the Fairtrade Foundation, Cheryl McGechie, presents the Fairtrade Borough status certificate to The Mayor of Solihull Councillor Flo Nash and Solihull Council's sustainability and engagement officer, Andrew Greenall

Solihull successfully renews Fairtrade status

Solihull has successfully renewed its Fairtrade Borough status for two years, following its ongoing commitment to promoting Fairtrade principles.

Solihull celebrated the achievement at the West Midlands Fairtrade Conference on Saturday 29 September at the Civic Suite.

The Borough’s Fairtrade Steering Group revealed its plans to promote Fairtrade to more community groups and businesses in the area by taking part in campaigns, including the UK-wide Fairtrade Fortnight at the end of February and further developing the annual Cake Off cooking competition. They also agreed to continue to maintain and grow the network of people and organisations that support the group’s objectives and increase the availability of Fairtrade in shops and cafes/restaurants across the Borough.

Solihull Borough was first awarded Fairtrade status in 2010 in recognition of the strong support for Fairtrade within the Borough and the achievement of qualifying goals such as the Council’s commitment to Fairtrade, the sale of Fairtrade products across the Borough, Fairtrade in organisations across the Borough and Fairtrade communications.

In her letter renewing Solihull’s Fairtrade status, Chrysi Dimaki, Fairtrade’s Communities Campaigns Officer, said: “It is apparent that the Fairtrade campaign in Solihull is extremely well planned and structured and the Council’s support is truly outstanding.  We were particularly impressed with the relationships you have built with other local organisations and businesses supporting the local campaign.”

Adam Gardner, Communities Campaigns Manager at the Fairtrade Foundation, added: “We’re very pleased that Solihull has renewed their Fairtrade status and laid out clear exciting goals to take Fairtrade further.

“Thanks to the ongoing support of the public and campaigners, an increasing number of farmers in developing countries are now selling their products on Fairtrade terms, bringing them a stable income, and the chance to trade their way out of poverty.”

Fairtrade helps small-scale farmers ensure they earn stable incomes and have long-term contracts with companies. In addition, they earn the Fairtrade Premium, which they invest as the farmer-owned co-operative democratically chooses, in projects that will benefit their business or community.

The FAIRTRADE Mark independently certifies that products meet economic, social and environmental standards. As such, it is the most widely recognised ethical mark worldwide.

For more information about the FAIRTRADE Mark and how to apply for Fairtrade status, visit www.fairtrade.org.uk

To get involved in the Fairtrade campaign in Solihull visit http://www.solihull.gov.uk/fairtrade

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