World Fairtrade Day, on 8 May, celebrates the contribution Fairtrade makes towards eradicating the poverty and exploitation faced by small-scale farmers and producers in developing countries.
Garstang in Lancashire became the world’s first Fairtrade Town in 2000, and there are now over 600 Fairtrade communities across the UK. In Tandridge, two villages have achieved Fairtrade status: Lingfield and Tatsfield. The latter’s journey started in 2007, when the Diocese of Southwark initiated a move towards making Tatsfield Church Fairtrade. From that, a steering group was set up to help the village achieve the same status.
Barbara Hester, co-ordinator for the Tatsfield Fairtrade Group, told us how they achieved this:
“The group worked hard to meet the five Fairtrade goals required for this, which includes gaining confirmation from your local authority – in our case, the parish council – that they will support Fairtrade in Tatsfield, and your shops stocking at least four Fairtrade products. In 2009, we became a Fairtrade village.”
Fairtrade Fortnight, at the end of February, is the group’s main focus each year. In the past they have held Fairtrade fashion shows, coffee tastings and breakfasts, and there is always a function in the village hall. Last year, they were visited by Rosine Bekoin, a chocolate farmer from Cote d’Ivoire, which was arranged by the Fairtrade Foundation. The pandemic prevented any gatherings this year, but Sheree’s Store and Tearoom featured a display of Fairtrade products for sale, and there were many online activities provided by the Foundation.
The group usually celebrates World Fairtrade Day from a tea tent on the green, but this year will be posting on social media instead, with plans to hold a physical event later in the year.
Find out more at : www.tatsfieldfairtradevillage.weebly.com