New Mills has always cared about Fairtrade and was the first town in the High Peak to gain Fairtrade Town status.
Fairtrade ensures a minimum price to protect growers but to gain the Fairtrade mark the farmers have to meet strict environmental standards. Many Fairtrade producers then go on to becoming organic farmers.
Fairtrade producers work together as co-operatives and receive a premium linked to production. This money is in addition to the guaranteed minimum price paid to individual producers and the premium goes to the community for them to choose, as a group, what it would best be spent on. It might be a school, shared transport, training, a solar project whatever is their current priority – they decide together.
Sadly, not all farmers can have access to the Fairtrade minimum and premium, so we need to increase the demand for Fairtrade to make these available for other producers who also want to trade on Fairtrade terms.
The Hayfield and New Mills Fairtrade Group have been out and about promoting Fairtrade in our area, encouraging people to stock and buy Fairtrade by giving talks, putting up displays, working with schools, youth groups and holding street stalls. You can follow what we have been up to on our Facebook page @NewMillsFairtrade.
Do look out for the Fairtrade symbols around New Mills and please look out for our stall at the Carnival – come along and say hello!
Anne Clarke, Chair of Hayfield & New Mills Fairtrade Group.