New Mills – A Fairtrade Town!

New Mills was the first town in the High Peak to gain Fairtrade town status back in 2006. To gain this status the original Fairtrade steering group submitted forms and evidence to show the group’s activities promoting an awareness of Fairtrade in New Mills. They detailed the involvement of the council, schools, churches and businesses and documented media coverage of events promoting Fairtrade.

Over time, for a variety of reasons, but mainly just due to changes in circumstances, the original group disbanded and subsequently New Mills’ Fairtrade status wasn’t renewed and lapsed.

However, interest in Fairtrade is still very much evident and alive in New Mills! 

Just over two years ago, a new group reformed comprising initially of one of members of the original team plus two others. The Fairtrade steering group, now comprises of eight volunteers in total and is meeting monthly. The team have started to audit the Fairtrade activity that has continued within the town and have arranged talks and events to further highlight and promote it.

Whilst the pandemic curtailed a number of the activities planned over the last twelve months, as restrictions lift, we hope to hold coffee morning, talks, children’s activities and much more. Our aim is still to reapply for New Mills Fairtrade Town status before the end of this year and if granted we are already planning how to celebrate in style next Fairtrade Fortnight!

Further plans also include expanding beyond town status and to start working towards a Fairtrade Zone, incorporating New Mills and Hayfield. If you would like to know more about our activities please visit our Facebook page Hayfield & New Mills Fairtrade.  Should you want to invite us to give a talk, bring a stall at an event, or if you yourself would like to get involved – please e-mail us at newmillsfairtrade@gmail.com we would love to hear from you!

Here’s looking forward to celebrating our wonderful Fairtrade Town, then Zone…… then Borough!

Fairtrade ensures that producers receive a living income to cover the basics of clean water, food, shelter, healthcare and education. The farmers form co-ops, to work together sharing knowledge, resources and to receive training. The minimum Fairtrade price provides a safety net that allows the producers to plan for the future. To receive Fairtrade status, all Fairtrade producers have to meet strict criteria on working conditions and environmental standards. The additional Fairtrade premium received is used for the collective benefit of the community and this is decided democratically by each co-operative.

For further information please see www.fairtrade.org.uk

Written by Anne Clarke,

Chair of Hayfield & New Mills Fairtrade Group.

Author: VNM

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