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Liberal Democrats - Making Bedford a Fairer Borough

March 9, 2007 4:14 PM
Fairtrade logo

Look for this Mark on Fairtrade products

Bedford Borough Lib Dems have welcomed Fairtrade Fortnight and reaffirmed their commitment to making Bedford a Fairtrade Borough.

Bedford Borough Council started working towards Fairtrade status in November 2004. Liberal Democrat councillors are concerned at the lack of progress made by the council since then.

To become a Fairtrade Town, 5 goals must be met:

• The local council must pass a resolution supporting Fairtrade, and serve Fairtrade coffee and tea at its meetings and in offices and canteens;

• A range of Fairtrade products must be readily available in the area's shops and served in local cafés and catering establishments (targets are set in relation to population);

• Fairtrade products must be used by a number of local work places (estate agents, hairdressers etc) and community organisations (churches, schools etc);

• Attract media coverage and popular support for the campaign;

• A local Fairtrade steering group must be convened to ensure continued commitment to Fairtrade Town status.

Liberal Democrat Group Leader Cllr Michael Headley said,

"I'm proud of the fact that Bedford is working to become a Fairtrade Town. I know that there are many local residents committed to this. Unfortunately, Mayor Branston and his Cabinet have been dragging their feet on the issue. It's very disappointing that little progress has been made in two and a half years since the council took the decision to work towards Fairtrade Status.

"The Fairtrade Mark guarantees a fair and stable price to farmers in developing countries, and guarantees consumers a top-quality and environmentally-friendly product. It is such a simple and direct way to make a big difference to the lives of poor families in developing countries.

"It's better to help people support themselves through trade than handouts from the government.

"Bedford Borough Council should set a target of achieving Fairtrade status this year."

For further information go to www.fairtrade.org.uk