Watford is gearing up to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of when it first became a Fairtrade town.
The Fairtrade Foundation granted our town the title on 5 March 2007 after a three-year campaign, where a number of targets had to be fulfilled. These included the sale of Fairtrade products in at least 16 shops and eight cafes in Watford and stocking of Fairtrade products, where appropriate, at Watford Borough Council meetings. Watford was the 250th Fairtrade town in the UK, but now there are more than 600.
Fairtrade products help crop producers in Africa, Asia and the Pacific. Brian Mee, honorary chair of the Watford Fairtrade Town Steering Group, said: "There's no middle man ripping off the farmers. They can plan their businesses and it makes them sustainable and enables them to put food on the table for their families and send their kids to school. They have access to healthcare clinics, many of which have been built through the Fairtrade premium – which has also been used to open up fresh water supplies. There are now well over eight million people benefiting from the Fairtrade system."
This year, the annual Fairtrade Fortnight will run from Monday 27 February to Sunday 12 March. In Watford there will be a quiz night to raise funds for Fairtrade at St Luke's Church in Langley Way from 7.30pm on Saturday 11 March. Entry is £5 (£3.50 for students) for teams of six. There will be a Fairtrade lunch at West Herts College Restaurant on Wednesday 8 March, promoting Fairtrade and using Fairtrade products.
You can read more about Fairtrade online, or to get involved with the Fairtrade movement in Watford, contact Brian Mee on 07788 676311.