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Outstanding Fairtrade Campaign award L-R Fairtrade Foundation patron Allegra McEvedy Phil Gawne Member of Tynwald Rosemary Clarke Isle of Man Fairtrade Group Michael Gidney, Chief Executive of the Fairtrade Foundation

The Isle of Man Fairtrade Group and Garstang Fairtrade Town Campaign are both celebrating after receiving awards at a reception held last night (15 October) to mark 20 years of Fairtrade in the UK.

The Outstanding Fairtrade Campaign award was presented to the Isle of Man Fairtrade Group, for their work to raise the profile of Fairtrade and influence the behaviour of local consumers and businesses.

An independent judging panel of campaigning and fair trade experts chose the Isle of Man group after reviewing entries from grassroots campaigner groups across England, Scotland and Wales. Ben Jackson, Chief Executive of BOND, the membership body for international development organisations in the UK, was one of the judges and praised the group for demonstrating, “imagination, inclusion, inspiration and impact… in a way that typified exactly the kind of solid, cross-community campaigning which has taken place all across the UK to help get Fairtrade to where it is today after 20 years.”

On receiving the award from chef, writer and broadcaster Allegra McEvedy MBE, who is Patron of the Fairtrade Foundation, Rosemary Clarke from the Isle of Man Fairtrade Group said: "We’re so pleased that our work organising a Fairtrade conference for primary school children won this award. It involved so many parts of the community, including government, commerce, education and the third sector. We’re really looking forward to holding our next Fairtrade conference in January.” Phil Gawne, a Member of Tynwald, the Isle of Man government, added: “The Isle of Man is very proud of its Fairtrade Island status and delighted to receive this award.”

Preston & South Ribble Fairtrade Group, and Fairtrade Yorkshire were named as the runners-up for the Outstanding Fairtrade Campaign award.

In addition, the Fairtrade Foundation presented a Special Recognition Award to the early pioneers of the Fairtrade Towns movement – Garstang - who came up with the idea to unite their community in support of Fairtrade, and declared themselves the world’s very first Fairtrade Town.

On receiving the award, which was crafted from Fairtrade silver, Ruth Bruce of Garstang Fairtrade Town Campaign said: "It is a great privilege to accept this award on behalf of Garstang. The Fairtrade campaign has been a huge learning curve and an exciting journey for all of us. I’m sure it will thrive for many more years, as we continue to convince people to support the movement and buy Fairtrade.”

Michael Gidney, Chief Executive of the Fairtrade Foundation, said: “From a supermarket till receipt campaign in 1993, which encouraged supermarkets to stock Fairtrade, to a Guinness World Record in 2011 for the longest piece of handmade bunting, to support the Fairtrade Foundation’s call for an end to unfair cotton subsidies, the Fairtrade movement owes a great deal to campaigners from all over the UK, from all walks of life, who have worked hard over the last 20 years to change the way that the nation shops and to make trade fairer for producers.”

There are more than 10,000 local
Fairtrade campaigning groups in the UK, including Fairtrade Towns, Fairtrade Schools, Fairtrade Universities and Fairtrade Faith Groups.

An award was also presented to Divine, the chocolate company that is 45% owned by the Ghanaian farmers who supply its cocoa. Divine’s Milk Chocolate with Toffee & Sea Salt was named as the UK’s Favourite Fairtrade Product.

Fairtrade benefits 1.4m farmers and workers in more than 70 developing countries, by ensuring they receive a fair, stable price for their produce, better working conditions, and a Fairtrade Premium that can be invested as they choose, in their business or in projects to benefit their community, such as classrooms, clinics, clean drinking water or climate adaptation programmes. In 2013, UK shoppers bought an estimated £1.7bn of Fairtrade products, which resulted in over £26m of Fairtrade Premiums being paid to producers.

Twenty years ago, there were just three products carrying the FAIRTRADE Mark: Green & Black’s Maya Gold chocolate, Cafedirect medium roast coffee, and Clipper tea. Today, the FAIRTRADE Mark is the most widely-known ethical label in the world and UK shoppers can choose from over 4,500 Fairtrade products including tea, coffee, cocoa, chocolate, bananas, sugar, cotton, gold, cut flowers, wine and cosmetics.


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