Paul Wolfenden, owner of Southport-based online retailer The FAIR Trade Store, was invited onto Sefton Council’s Fairtrade Steering Group.
The objective of the Steering Group was to direct Sefton Borough towards Fairtrade Status, which is awarded by The Fairtrade Foundation once certain criteria are consistently meet.

“I have accepted this invitation and look forward to making a positive contribution towards gaining Fairtrade Status for Sefton Borough.”
Paul went on to add, “by buying Fairtrade you really are helping to make a difference to the lives of actual producers in some of the world`s poorest countries”.

Well, I’m delighted to report that my local borough, Sefton, is now a Fairtrade one!
Sefton includes the coastal resort of Southport, which is where the office and warehouse of my own business, The FAIR Trade Store is based.
Congratulations to everyone involved.

Environmental officers at the borough council recently received official notification from the Fairtrade Foundation confirming the prestigious status has been awarded to Sefton residents.

Fairtrade Foundation logo

Fairtrade Foundation logo

It means that local caterers and retailers are going above and beyond the basic requirements to help workers across the globe get a fair return for their products.

Members in Sefton Council agreed the idea to support The Fairtrade Foundation in 2005 and a Fairtrade Steering Group of councillors, officers and enthusiastic supporters was set up in the borough. I became a member of this Steering Group in 2008.

To achieve Fairtrade Borough status, The Fairtrade Foundation demands a minimum numbers of Fairtrade outlets, and evidence of community involvement, proportional to the borough’s population.
This has been achieved with Sefton now joining more than 500 other towns, villages and boroughs that enjoy Fairtrade status.

Cabinet Member for Environmental, Cllr David Tattersall, said: “Sefton made a commitment to support Fairtrade and has been using products with the Fairtrade mark for a number of years.

“This has now been rewarded with Sefton being nationally recognised as a Fairtrade Borough supporting the world wide movement which strives to get producers in developing countries a fair deal and help lift them out of poverty.”

Through supporting marginalised and disadvantaged producers, Fairtrade is able to offer farmers’ organisations and plantations a guaranteed price and an additional premium for investment in improved farming methods and to build schools and clinics.

What do you think about this news? And what are your suggestions for keeping this momentum going?

STOP PRESS: due to a lack of resources, commitment and political will, Sefton has lost its Fairtrade Borough status.

Why not visit The FAIR Trade Store’s website now and find out more about what Fair Trade really is?

Paul Wolfenden is the owner of The FAIR Trade Store and writes this Blog.