Keighley Fairtrade status bid gets backing

Town centre manager, Philip Smith, right, at the Fairtrade event in Keighley Civic Centre with Richard Dillon, an elected member of the West Yorkshire area committee of the Co-operative Group, and Linda Gomila, Co-operative membership officer

Town centre manager, Philip Smith, right, at the Fairtrade event in Keighley Civic Centre with Richard Dillon, an elected member of the West Yorkshire area committee of the Co-operative Group, and Linda Gomila, Co-operative membership officer

First published in Keighley by

Businesses, schools and community groups will be recruited to help make Keighley a Fairtrade town.

They will be encouraged to buy, sell or use goods sourced at a fair price from growers in developing countries.

A volunteer team is spearheading efforts to gain the accolade for Keighley before the end of the year.

The campaign was unveiled to the business community during last week’s Keighley Town Centre Association meeting.

A number of companies signed up to use Fairtrade goods or agreed to join a local steering committee.

Members sampled Fairtrade products and were told how easy it was to source Fairtrade items through an established network of UK wholesalers.

Keighley resident Richard Dillon, one of the campaigners, hoped the use of Fairtrade products could be integrated into major Keighley events.

He said to achieve Fairtrade status Keighley had to meet several goals, such as involving schools, businesses, churches and local councils.

He added: “I think it will take a year, but if there’s a lot of enthusiasm, we’ll hit it earlier.

“There are a lot of groups already supporting trade justice. Keighley is a very generous town. We have a long history of having links across the world through textiles and engineering.”

Haworth became the world’s first Fairtrade village in 2002, and since then about 500 towns across the UK have gained Fairtrade status. Yorkshire last month became the UK’s first Fairtrade region.

Keighley town-centre manager Philip Smith said there had been an excellent response from businesses to last week’s Fairtrade presentation.

He added: “I have a number of businesses linked to the association who are happy to get involved and will join the steering committee.”

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