Central England Co-operative has joined together with its communities in Leicestershire and Northamptonshire to mark a special Fairtrade Fortnight with two weeks of activities.
The celebrations coincided with the 25th anniversary of Fairtrade products hitting the shelves in the UK, with the Co-op having been there every step of the way.
Therefore, Central England Co-op was determined to spread the Fairtrade message to its members and customers, as well as educating people about the people who grow food, people who live in some of the poorest countries in the world and who are often exploited and badly paid.
The Society did this through a mixture of fun events with a Fairtrade theme in their communities from football matches to tea dances, as well as educational workshops and assemblies with schools and community groups.
In Leicester, the retailer’s Southern Membership and Community Council (MCC) held the first ‘Can’t Play Players’ women’s football match which saw Members and colleagues with little or no experience of playing the game take on the challenge to raise awareness and vital funds for the retailer’s corporate charity Dementia UK.
The matchball was a special Bala UK Fairtrade football and to thank the hosts AFC Andrews Football Club, the MCC donated 12 of the fairly traded footballs to the club’s youth set up.
The Society’s Membership and Community Relations Officer Karen Bevan, as well as colleagues and MCC Members, also delivered the Fairtrade message to hundreds of children through workshops, assemblies and special in-store ethical challenges.
Among those schools and groups visited over the past two weeks were Martinshaw Primary School in Groby, Latimer Primary School in Anstey, Bottesford Primary School, Beaver groups in Whetstone and Market Harborough, Grange Primary School in Kettering, Loatlands Primary School in Desborough and Duston Eldean Primary School in Northampton.
Karen Bevan, Member and Community Relations Officer at Central England Co-op, said: “2020 has been one of our best ever Fairtrade Fortnights and I’m confident we have really got people talking about Fairtrade and understanding its importance during its 25thanniversary year.
“We have had some really memorable events that have given our Members and communities a great time, while also ensuring the key messages around Fairtrade are always at the forefront of people’s minds.”