Central England Co-op celebrates all things Fairtrade

Central England Co-op celebrates all things Fairtrade

During Fairtrade Fortnight (21 February - 6 March) The Western Membership and community Council (MCC) celebrated the event by delivering events to members of our community through School and Community Group workshops and assemblies, talking to our members and customers, and through technology with an online seminar.

During the fortnight we held more than 15 events reaching over 900 members, customers and young people.

The delivery of Fairtrade awareness to our community is something that Central England Co-op (CEC) feels is very important and our support of the Fairtrade Foundation spans over 25 years. Our assemblies and workshops to young people allows us to deliver an important message about Fairtrade while having fun and usually involves the tasting of Co-op Fairtrade chocolate, which is always a hit with everyone. This was the first time on close to two years we have been in schools on this scale and it has been amazing to be back talking to our young people on this topic. we visited schools in our region to deliver many workshops and assemblies and even had a visit from Lichfield Beavers to our Boley Park store to play our Fairtrade Snakes and Ladders game and complete an Ethical Challenge in store.

This year we also visited our member groups, a local coffee morning and held awareness events in some of our stores to highlight what Fairtrade means and how everyone can support the movement by buying more Fairtrade items when out shopping. Suzanne and Shaz, MCC Members from the Birmingham area took the time to go to our Bentley Heath store in Solihull to talk to members and customers about Fairtrade. Suzanne tells her story about the day and how learning more about Fairtrade has made he feel.

"I’ve been in my local CEC store supporting Fairtrade Fortnight as part of my MCC role, telling customers about the benefits of Co-op membership and Fairtrade’s role in improving farmers’ livelihoods. I’m proud to be a part of an organisation that were the first supermarkets to stock Fairtrade products. Fairtrade products combine a fair sale price with the ‘Fairtrade premium’ going to farmers to spend on their communities. That could be clean water, classrooms or clinics".

"The role of co-operatives and the Fairtrade movement link to the wider picture of how we can rethink land use. Food, water and energy are the three elements that need to be balanced to achieve sustainability. Co-operatives, with their sustainable approach and focus on social justice, are real-life examples of how this balance can be achieved.

"At the Bentley Heath CEC store I supported manager Amy Wilson and her team alongside fellow MCC member Shaz Rahman. We encouraged people to sign up as CEC members and promoted Fairtrade products on sale such as bananas, tomatoes, coffee, tea, sugar, wine, chocolate and flowers. Co-operative approaches and Fairtrade production are a way to achieve the UN’s sustainable development goals that we can all get behind".

We visited Whittington Village coffee morning, which was organised by Whittington Fairtrade Group where over 50 members of the village came out and enjoyed Fairtrade Tea, Coffee and Cake. We held an awareness event at our Stapenhill store with East Staffs Fairtrade Group talking to members and customers. we visited our members during their member groups and classes to deliver some Fairtrade goodies and talk about the how Fairtrade supports people get a fair price for their goods. and we held an online Fairtrade Seminar to further spread the message of Fairtrade with the Fairtrade Foundation

For more information on Fairtrade visit the Fairtrade Foundation online https://www.fairtrade.org.uk/. For more information on the work of the MCC please email member.community@centralengland.coop