Fairtrade with the Soroptimists.
Ruth Bruce, Chairwoman of Garstang Fairtrade Steering Group, is to address the 19th International Soroptimists’ Convention in Montreal next month. Last week she gave Garstang Soroptimists a preview of her talk.
The Convention will be treated to a comprehensive introduction to the Fairtrade movement, to its place alongside other Soroptimist issues such as climate change and people trafficking, and how Garstang has led the world in the successful growth of the Fairtrade Towns movement.
Showing the relevance of the saying about big trees growing from little acorns, she described how the movement has just welcomed its 1,000th member town, and outlined the positive reasons for involvement – a passionate belief in fairness throughout the world, a positive contribution to ending poverty, the fact that anybody can become meaningfully involved and, particularly relevant to Soroptimists, how Fairtrade offers a more stable financial future to the world’s women.
She said that, from this First Fairtrade Town, mutual respect between communities had grown alongside educational opportunities, better relations between consumers and producers, and much-improved understanding between different cultures.
The presentation was followed by lively discussion about issues raised, and should make a good model for Ruth Bruce’s address to the Montreal audience.
Garstang celebrates 500 Fairtrade Towns in the UK
As we approach 500 Fairtrade Towns in the UK plans are underway to celebrate with a 500 mile bike ride from Aberfeldy to Cardiff, the first Fairtrade capital city. The route will pass through other prominent Fairtrade Towns and as the world’s first Fairtrade Town Garstang has to be included.
Fairtrade Town campaigners will be setting off from Aberfeldy on Saturday 23rd October 2010 and arriving in Cardiff on Monday 1st November 2010 taking the following route:
Route Miles Acc. mileage
Saturday October 23rd, set off from Aberfeldy
(Joint 1st Fairtrade Town in Scotland) 0m 0m
Saturday October 23rd, arrive Strathaven
(Joint 1st Fairtrade Town in Scotland) 80m 80m
Sunday October 24th, arrive Dunscore
(1st Fairtrade Town in Dumfries and Galloway) 56m 136m
Monday October 25th, arrive Brampton
(Hadrian’s Wall, first Fairtrade Heritage Trail) 48m 184m
Tuesday October 26th, arrive Kendal
(1st Fairtrade Town in Cumbria) 47m 231m
Wednesday October 27th, arrive Garstang
(1st Fairtrade Town in the world) 32m 263m
Thursday October 28th, arrive Chester
(1st Fairtrade City) 57m 320m
Friday October 29th, arrive Bridgnorth
(1st Fairtrade Town in Shropshire) 56m 376m
Saturday October 30th, arrive Hay-on-Wye
(Home of the famous Book Festival) 52m 428m
Sunday October 31st, arrive Ammanford
(1st Fairtrade Town in Wales) 52m 480m
Monday 1st November, arrive Cardiff
(1st Fairtrade capital city) 55m 535m
It is still unknown which place will declare as the 500th Fairtrade Town in the UK, but it is hoped that they will connect directly with the celebrations in Cardiff via a video link. Garstang will be holding its own celebrations as the cyclist passes through on Wednesday 27th October.
Fairtrade Towns now exist in 19 countries worldwide and include such cities as London, Paris, Rome, Copenhagen and San Francisco. Following on from the 500th Fairtrade Town in the UK we soon hope to be celebrating the 1,000th Fairtrade Town worldwide, which is expected some time early in 2011.