START Fairtrade fortnight with an ethical cuppa.
That was the plea Mayor of Kirklees, councillor Julie Stewart-Turner, is encouraging people to join her in ‘The Big Swap’.
For two whole weeks she’s asking locals to swap as many of their usual groceries for Fairtrade products.
Two billion people – a third of the human race – survive on less than £1.30 a day and unfair trade rules prevent them from escaping poverty.
Green Clr Stewart-Turner said: “I believe there is a growing desire in our communities to ensure people all over the world are treated fairly.
“Fairtrade is about bringing the farmer and the shopper closer together.
“It is about putting people at the heart of trade and it naturally complements the ongoing local food campaign I’ve adopted for my time in office.
“Most Fairtrade products aren’t easily grown in this country, but our farmers’ markets already include Fairtrade stalls.”
Kirklees Council is giving its official backing to the international Fairtrade Fortnight and ‘The Big Swap’ campaign.
A number of community events promoting Fairtrade have been organised for this fortnight.
The ultimate aim is to gain Fairtrade status for Huddersfield from The Fairtrade Foundation.
The council must show that they have successfully promoted Fairtrade by meeting a series of goals.
Mirfield, Holme Valley and the Batley and Spen parliamentary constituencies are already Fairtrade towns within Kirklees, while the University of Huddersfield became a Fairtrade university last year.
Leader of the council, Mehboob Khan, said: “This is an important campaign as it shows our commitment to helping producers in the developing world and making sure they receive the support they deserve.
“Fairtrade creates long-term sustainability and helps to prevent people being underpaid or exploited. It is based on equity and respect.
“Our aim is to expand the ongoing Fairtrade commitment in Kirklees and raise awareness that everybody can play their part. The local Co-operative movement is very active on this initiative.”
FAIRTRADE events taking part over this fortnight:
February 23, 10.30am, St Paul’s Church, Birkenshaw: Big Brew Refreshments.
February 24, 1.30pm to 3pm, St Luke’s Church Centre, South View Road: Afternoon tea and children’s tea party and craft activities for under-5s.
February 25, all day, Queensgate Market: Fairtrade stand.
February 25, 2pm to 4pm, Almondbury South Tenants and Residents’ Association, 56/58 Aldonley: Relaxed drop in with free Fairtrade refreshments.
February 26 and March 5 1pm - 3pm, Town Community House, Town Avenue: Relaxed drop in for parents, carers and children with free Fairtrade refreshments.
March 1, 11am to 2pm, Town Community House, 3 - 5 Town Avenue: Baby clinic with Fairtrade refreshments providing advice and support around child benefit, behaviour and housing
March 2, 9.30am to 12.30pm, Batley Old People’s Centre, Upper Commercial Street: Fairtrade information event for people over 55 to meet and chat with each other.
March 2, 6.30pm to 9pm, Paddock Youth Club, Beech Street: Cooking with Fairtrade products from around the world including taster sessions by the Co-operative.
March 3, 10am to 1pm, Howland Centre, School Street, Dewsbury: Big Brew with Fairtrade display and taster sessions.
March 3, 1.30pm to 3.30pm, Longley and Lowerhouses Community Church, 181 Lowerhouses Lane: Exchange your tea and coffee for Fairtrade tea and coffee while learning about the principles of Fairtrade.
March 3, 7pm to 9pm, The Phoenix Centre, Dunford Road, Holmfirth: Talks from a Fairtrade banana producer from The West Indies, chair of the local Fairtrade support group and a representative of the Fairtrade Foundation.
March 4, 10am to 11.30am, Lockwood Community Centre, Mount Street: Sample Fairtrade beauty products with staff from Boots and quiz.
March 6, 10am to 12pm, Salvation Army, 106 Huddersfield Road, Mirfield: Call in for refreshments and a chat.
March 6, 11am to 3pm, Hudawi Community Centre, Great Northern Street: Watch, taste and take part in cooking demonstrations with Fairtrade produce by the Minister of Chocolate. Free goody bags.
March 20, 1pm to 7pm, Thornhill Lees Community Centre, Brewery Lane, Dewsbury: Linking in with a planned Sport Relief event, a Fairtrade stand will provide information.