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Hull – A Fairtrade Community (2023)

Fairtrade community identity
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Greetings to all Fairtrade supporters and enthusiasts in Hull! We are delighted to share some fantastic news that fills us with immense pride and joy. Hull has been awarded the esteemed Fairtrade Community status, signifying a remarkable milestone in our journey towards promoting fair trade practices and supporting ethical initiatives. This recognition is a testament to the unwavering commitment of our community members and the tireless efforts of grassroots campaigners who have been advocating for trade justice and sustainability. Let’s delve into Hull’s remarkable Fairtrade journey and celebrate this well-deserved achievement.

A Dedicated Participant in the Fairtrade Movement

Hull’s involvement in the Fairtrade movement is a testament to its ongoing dedication to supporting farmers and workers in developing countries. Before receiving the Fairtrade City status in 2005, dedicated individuals and groups in Hull were already actively championing fair trade practices. Their early efforts helped raise awareness and laid the groundwork for the city’s later success in becoming a Fairtrade Community.

The success of Hull’s journey towards Fairtrade Community status would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of grassroots campaigners. From individuals to businesses and organizations, the collective efforts of these campaigners have been instrumental in driving positive change in Hull’s Fairtrade initiatives. Their passion and commitment in advocating for fairer trade practices have played a pivotal role in raising awareness, promoting ethical choices, and creating a fairer global trading system.

Chris giving chocolate presentation to Cott Road Baptists
One of Hull’s earliest advocates of Fairtrade, Chris is still giving talks and encouraging people to buy Fairtrade in 2023

Embracing Fairtrade Community Status

With the recent launch of the new-look Fairtrade Communities scheme by the Fairtrade Foundation, Hull embraced the opportunity to apply for Fairtrade Community status. The transition from the previous “Fairtrade City” designation to “Fairtrade Community” reflects the city’s commitment to fairtrade principles. The new scheme aims to embrace inclusivity, inviting everyone in our community to participate in the fairtrade movement. While we celebrate this recognition, it is essential to remember that it is not the end of our journey but the beginning of a new chapter in promoting fair trade practices.

Hull’s Recent Fairtrade Activity

Fairtrade City/Community status is typically renewed upon successful application every two years. However, the Covid-19 pandemic and its inevitable delays posed unique challenges for the recent application process. As a result, the most recent application for Fairtrade Community status in Hull included details of events dating back as far as 2019. Despite these obstacles, Hull’s commitment to Fairtrade remained unwavering, and the community’s dedication to promoting ethical practices shone through. Let’s take a glimpse at some of the remarkable promotional events that have contributed to Hull’s continued journey towards fair trade excellence:

Human Mosaic Celebrates 25 Years of the Fairtrade Mark

On 5th October, 2019, celebrating 25 years of the Fairtrade Mark, 150 volunteers formed a human mosaic in Hull’s popular Trinity Square. The mosaic formed the familiar and iconic shape of the Fairtrade Mark itself, while nearby stalls selling fair trade food and crafts were held in a special pop-up market inside neighbouring Trinity Market.

Human Mosaic forming the Fairtrade Mark in 2019

Lord Mayor Welcomes Visitors to Guildhall During Fairtrade Fortnight 2020

Just before the pandemic took hold, the then-Lord Mayor of Hull welcomed schools and Fairtrade campaigners to the Guildhall as part of Fairtrade Fortnight in 2020. If you look carefully at the second photo you might be able to spot Richard and me at the back on the left.

fairtrade fortnight 2020, tea and cake with the Lord Mayor of Hull

Gaia Exhibition, Hull Minster, August 2021

As part of Hull’s annual Freedom Festival in 2021, Hull Minster welcomed a Gaia Exhibition with a variety of events held over two weeks. On its launch date of 21st August, the event was “Fair Food for All”. With stands offering information about Fairtrade and the opportunity to purchase grocery items that carried the Fairtrade Mark.

The Winning Christmas Tree!

Another event hosted by Hull Minster in 2021 was the Lord Mayor’s Christmas Tree Festival. Adorned with flags and names of Fairtrade producing countries, and Fairtrade “gifts” below, the Fairtrade Christmas tree was announced the winner!

Fairtrade Christmas Tree 2021 Hull Fairtrade Partnership

And even more…

Add to all of the above numerous stalls providing information and goods, quizzes, coffee mornings, online festivals during lockdowns, as well as participation in the annual Fairtrade Fortnight and World Fairtrade Days, Hull’s Fairtrade Community Status has been well and truly earned.

The Impact of Fairtrade Community Status

Hull’s attainment of Fairtrade Community status brings not only pride to the city but also reflects the positive impact it has had on the lives of farmers and workers in low-income countries. By choosing Fairtrade-certified products, Hull’s residents and businesses have contributed to providing fair wages, safe working conditions, and community development in marginalized regions worldwide. This recognition further solidifies Hull’s position as a leader in the Fairtrade movement, inspiring other communities to follow its example and join the global effort towards a more equitable and sustainable trading system.

harvesting our favourite food, cocoa, fairtrade fortnight 2021
A cocoa farmer harvesting our favourite food
Smiling woman in Divine Chocolate t-shirt.
A Divine Fairtrade Chocolate worker

Conclusion

Hull’s journey towards Fairtrade Community status is a testament to its dedication and active participation in the Fairtrade movement. Its early advocates and subsequent grassroots campaigners have left an indelible mark in promoting ethical and sustainable trade. Embracing Fairtrade Community status further solidifies Hull’s commitment to trade justice and serves as a shining example for others to follow. As Hull continues to lead by example, it inspires hope for a world where fairness and ethical values prevail, creating a brighter future for all.

Calling for Change: The Fairtrade Movement Needs You!

As we conclude this celebration of Hull’s remarkable fairtrade journey, we extend a heartfelt invitation to each and every one of you, our esteemed readers. The Fairtrade movement thrives on the collective efforts of passionate individuals like you who choose to buy fair trade products. Your conscious choices have the power to transform lives, empower communities, and create a more equitable world. By supporting fair trade, you become part of a global network of changemakers, advocating for fairer wages, better working conditions, and sustainable livelihoods for farmers and workers in developing countries. Let us continue to stand united, inspired by Hull’s commitment to fair trade, and together, let us be the driving force behind positive change. The Fairtrade movement needs you – let’s build a fairer future, one ethical choice at a time!


A special THANK YOU to Sharon, Chair of the Fairtrade Partnership group, for all her hard work in bringing together fair trade individuals and businesses, arranging and co-ordinating many of the aforementioned events, and for doing all the “paper”-work involved in the Fairtrade Community application.