Being a Fairtrade Town

Did you know that Hartlepool is a Fairtrade Town? We are here to explain exactly what that means for the town and for you. 

What is Fairtrade?

It is likely you’ve heard of Fairtrade and you might already have a bit of an understanding of what that means. Knowing exactly what Fairtrade is and what it stands for, will help you appreciate the importance of it. 

According to the official Fairtrade website, this is the definition of what Fairtrade is: 

Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers around the world, but particularly in lower income countries.

By requiring companies to pay sustainable prices (which must never fall lower than the market price), Fairtrade addresses the injustices of conventional trade, which traditionally discriminates against the producers from low-income countries.

It enables them to improve their position and have more control over their lives.

How do I know a product is Fairtrade?

You can recognise a Fairtrade product using the FAIRTRADE mark.

The FAIRTRADE mark on any product (eg. food or garment) indicates that the constituents (eg. coffee/sugar) or materials (eg. cotton) are where possible sourced from certified farms or plantations. The mark is used only on products certified in accordance with Fairtrade Standards and on promotional materials to encourage people to buy Fairtrade products.

The Fairtrade Foundation has identified that “the core FAIRTRADE mark is recognised around the world. An amazing 93% of UK shoppers recognise and 83% trust it when deciding whether a product is ethical.”

What is a Fairtrade Town or Community?

Hartlepool has had certified Fairtrade Town status since 2005. Any community (city, town, borough, village etc) can apply for recognition as a Fairtrade Community. The main criteria for this are:

  • The Council passes a resolution supporting Fairtrade
  • A Steering Group exists to coordinate the promotion of Fairtrade
  • A significant number of shops, hospitality premises and businesses, stock or serve Fairtrade products or themselves promote Fairtrade

What happens in Hartlepool to support Fairtrade?

From 2005 until the Covid lockdown in 2020, Hartlepool’s Fairtrade Town Steering Group met regularly and promoted Fairtrade through shops, cafes, schools, churches (and other religious groups) and events in the annual Fairtrade Fortnight at the end of February, the latter always including a stall in Middleton Grange Shopping Centre. The Council meanwhile ensured that only Fairtrade tea and coffee was served at official meetings and that Fairtrade was promoted to its employees.


What happens now?

As a result of the pandemic, meetings and activities have largely come to a halt for the past two years and we have lost both momentum and active supporters. We need now to regain that momentum by engaging again with our communities, reminding people of what Fairtrade means and encouraging people, groups and businesses to get involved in promoting a greater awareness of Fairtrade within Hartlepool. Use our Contact Form to get in touch if you would like to get involved. 

Image Credit: Fairtrade Producer Images and Fairtrade Community Guide and Materials

Support Hartlepool businesses stocking or using Fairtrade products