Westray Fairtrade Group was formed in 2007 to promote the Fairtrade ideal in Westray and to encourage maximum participation throughout the community. “Fairtrade Island” status was awarded later that year and has been maintained continuously since.
The group provides resources, encouragement and advice to local organisations, businesses and individuals who wish to take part and close to 100% of eligible community groups and businesses have signed Westray’s
“Fairtrade Charter”. We also hold regular events to keep the issue on the agenda and to promote Westray as a fairtrade destination and a place where people care about trade justice.
We helped to form the Orkney Fairtrade Group, with whom we continue to work closely, are especially proud of our award-winning Fairtrade School, which is at the heart of our community and whose netball team we sponsor. We encourage people to buy locally and buy fairly whenever such options are available.
The group meets regularly (usually in the Parish Kirk) and welcomes anyone who shares the aim of alleviating poverty through trade justice.
We are thrilled by the achievement of Westray Chutney in achieving Fairtrade status for so many of their products – a fantastic example of how it’s possible to make a real difference. Group meetings are advertised locally and are open to anyone with an interest. If you want to find out more please see (web address) or contact (e-mail address).
Westray’s Fairtrade Group is celebrating its fourth consecutive “Fairtrade Island” award, giving continuity of that status since 2007. But what’s it about and does it actually matter?
The Fairtrade movement has transformed the lives of people in many of the world’s poorest communities by raising living standards and developing practical essentials like health care, education and road infrastructure. It’s essentially about offering a fairer return to farmers and producers for their efforts.
The benefits are overwhelming and measurable and Westray should be proud to have led the way within Orkney with so many businesses, workplaces, community groups and other organisations supporting the Westray Fairtrade Charter. We are particularly proud of our Fairtrade award winning school, which has been singled out for special praise.
Almost all the imported Fairtrade certified products on sale in this country are things that can’t be produced locally – coffee, tea, cocoa etc. But there are also many businesses in this country (from brewers to bakers and candlestick makers – quite literally), that are thriving by producing a finished product using fairly traded raw ingredients.
And whilst it’s not the main purpose, it’s a welcome fact that there’s a financial spin off for local businesses, with accommodation providers and others reporting specific interest and enquiries because of the Fairtrade Island status.
Choosing fairly traded produce when you have that option is such a simple step to take but it’s a remarkably effective one in bringing about significant change in the lives of many people who live in abject poverty.
For more Fairtrade information go to the Fairtrade website: www.fairtrade.org.uk