Sudbury has joined forces with Suffolk’s other six Fairtrade towns to create a new organisation to build on their strengths in promoting a better deal for Third World producers.
They recently got together at Bradfield St George to form The Suffolk Association of Fairtrade Towns (SAFT) and welcomed Michael Gidney, chief executive of the Fairtrade Foundation, as their special guest.
Richard Stainer, who is a member of the Bury St Edmunds steering group, agreed to chair the group for its first year. He said: “By bringing all the towns together in this association we hope to support each other and build on each other’s strengths to promote Fairtrade throughout Suffolk.”
The inspiration for setting up the group was a visit to all Fairtrade towns in Suffolk earlier this year by Patrick Kaberia, a Fairtrade tea farmer from Kenya. He explained how Fairtrade has made a difference to areas such as his in providing stability, fair prices and advice on sustainability.
Mr Gidney spoke about the importance of the voluntary movement in maintaining pressure on supermarkets and other outlets to stock and promote Fairtrade goods.
The seven towns in the new association are Bury, Beccles, Felixstowe, Framlingham, Ipswich and Lowestoft.