Scheme working to make town a Fairtrade haven

Tuesday, 4pm. SHOPPERS could soon see Sleaford become a Fairtrade Town.

Members of Sleaford Town Council will decide at their next full meeting whether to back the scheme which has developed out of the work of the Sustainable Sleaford Project.

Sustainable Sleaford is a consortium of organisations looking to encourage a greener way of life in the town, such as the push to do away with plastic carrier bags in shops.

A Fairtrade Town is where a town has made a commitment to supporting Fairtrade and using products with the Fairtrade mark.

The town council's General Purposes Committee has recommended that the council supports the move to become a Fairtrade Town and apply for the status.

Sleaford development manager Debbie Scott has been working on the project and said the council would encourage, endorse and promote businesses and organisations to back and source more Fairtrade products such as coffee, tea and bananas.

She said: "Hopefully it is seen as a good thing to be a part of and fits in with our Sustainable Sleaford project. We are still keen to support local producers but some things cannot be sourced or grown locally and it is only right that those producers get as fair a deal as we would expect for our local producers."

St George's College has been heavily involved in this new initiative since gaining Fairtrade School status in May 2008. Local retailers also involved include the Coop, Sainsbury's, Mother Nature and Mellow Moments, as well as schools, churches and the Hub, which is also a Fairtrade outlet.

There are five criteria to be met. The council must pass the resolution supporting Fairtrade and use its products in meetings and in their office.

Traders would be urged to stock a range of Fairtrade products and schools, churches and community groups would be encouraged to follow suit. The town would also take part in promoting Fairtrade Fortnight.

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