26/02/2007

Belfast recognises Fairtrade with awards

Belfast is literally going bananas for Fairtrade Fortnight, which started today.

To mark this highlight of the Fairtrade calendar, Fairtrade Belfast has launched the first ever Fairtrade Awards, to recognise businesses and employers across Belfast for their commitment to Fairtrade.

There will be five categories: Best Independent Retailer, Best Supermarket, Best Café, Best Bar/Restaurant and Best Employer.

Volunteers from Fairtrade Belfast, will visit Fairtrade outlets to carry out judging. They will be looking for the promotion of Fairtrade products, including how prominently they are displayed on supermarket shelves or how easy they are to buy in coffee shops, cafés and restaurants.

Nominations also can be submitted by e-mail, to fairtradebelfast@gmail.com. The deadline for nominations is 30 April.

The winners will be announced on World Fairtrade Day, on Saturday 12 May.

Volunteers from Fairtrade Belfast will be holding a number of special Fairtrade information roadshows in major supermarkets. They will be at Tesco Knocknagoney on Friday 2 March (11am – 6pm), Sainsbury’s Forestside on Saturday 3 March (10am – 4pm) and Asda Westwood Centre on Saturday 10 March (10am – 4pm).

For the next two weeks, City Hall is home to a Fairtrade exhibition, highlighting the issue of Fairtrade and the work of various agencies in Belfast to raise awareness of it. The exhibition can be viewed in the main entrance of City Hall during normal opening hours.

Many charities also are holding Fairtrade events over the next two weeks. Among these are a Fairtrade coffee morning at Queen’s Film Theatre tomorrow (Tuesday 27 February), organized by students from Queen’s University in aid of War On Want.

Formed in October 2004, Fairtrade Belfast is a voluntary organization made up of representatives of a number of charities, including Oxfam, Concern, Trocaire and War on Want.

Fairtrade Belfast also is giving help and advice to volunteers in other towns across Northern Ireland, including Antrim and Dungannon, to promote Fairtrade across the Province.

(JM/SP)

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