Fairtrade Honiton back on the agenda

Almost a decade after the late Tony Simpson first suggested Honiton should become a Fairtrade town, the idea is well and truly back on the agenda.

Town councillors will on Monday discuss a proposal to set up a working party in conjunction with Honiton and District Chamber of Commerce to explore potential ways forward.

If the suggestion wins support, the working party will be led by Councillor Caroline Kolek and give traders’ leaders a say on how any scheme could be implemented.

For some years, Honiton participated in Fairtrade Fortnight. A number of events have been successfully staged, many in Lace Walk where Co-op has been leading the charge on fairer trading relationships with its suppliers around the globe.

Addressing councillors at their monthly meeting on Monday (September 9) will be Sue Errington, the Devon Fairtrade co-ordinator.

During her talk, she will explain what becoming a Fairtrade town will involve and the benefits. Earlier this year, traders in the Caribbean sent a big ‘thank you’ to Devon businesses for taking on the Fairtrade challenge.

Following the presentation, Ms Errington will be available to answer questions from councillors.

If the proposal to set up a working group is approved, Cllr Kolek will report back to the council in December so that an informed decision on whether or not to move ahead with the plan can be taken.

Among those urging support for Fairtrade is the Diocese of Exeter. It has published clarion calls for more towns to back Fairtrade and has even spoken out when big businesses have decided to move away from the ethos of fair trade.

Further information about Fairtrade is available here.

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