Fairtrade Producer Meets Local Schools On Visit To Newry
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council invited local schools to Newry’s Sean Hollywood Arts Centre to meetHeydi Janeth Espino Mairena, a Nicaraguan fairtrade producer currently visiting Ireland during Fairtrade Fortnight as a guest of Fairtrade Ireland.
Many schools study the Fairtrade topic as part of the curriculum and the Eco Schools programme. Newry, Mourne and Down District Council organised the meeting so pupils had the opportunity to ask questions to learn more about fairtrade. The meeting was organised to coincide with Fairtrade Fortnight which runs from 27 February until 12 March 2017.
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Gillian Fitzpatrick said, “Newry, Mourne and Down District Council is seeking to become a Fairtrade District. Fairtrade offers us all a powerful way to reduce poverty through our everyday purchases, as the fairtrade mark on a product in a shop guarantees that farmers and workers in the developing world who produced it have received a fair price. We are delighted to host this visit to hear how making the simple choice of buying a fairtrade product whether tea, coffee, sugar or any of the many available, can have a positive effect on the lives of so many across the developing world”.
Heydi works in the Soppexcca Cooperative in Nicaragua. As part of her address she gave pupils an insight into how being part of a fairtrade cooperative has helped her, her family and community.
Heydi explained, “Thanks to Fairtrade the Soppexcca cooperative can pay higher prices for the coffee and as a result offer special programmes for young people, training them in the cultivation of coffee. The cooperative has set up a range of social projects including the construction of a school, made improvements to local roads as well as running various environmental activities that benefit the community.”
Also represented at the event were Cailina Parr, Tesco Newry’s Community Champion who kindly provided some refreshments, Melanie Drea from Fairtrade Ireland and pupils from St Clare’s Abbey Primary School, Newry who gave an excellent presentation on fairtrade.
Work on Newry, Mourne and Down District Council’s effort to become a Fairtrade District continues with the setting up of a steering committee. If you are interested in becoming a member of the committee on a volunteer basis, please email your contact details to firstname.lastname@example.org.
An important element of the process of becoming a Fairtrade District includes encouraging faith groups to become Fairtrade churches and places of worship. Interested churches can register at fairtrade.org.uk/en/get-involved/in-your-community/faith-groups/fairtrade-churches,
Schools can also become Fairtrade Schools and take part in the Schools Fairtrade awards at schools.fairtrade.org.uk
For more information about Fairtrade visit fairtrade.org.uk or fairtrade.ie