Martin Rhodes (the Scottish Fair Trade Forum) and Angus Coull (Bala Sport) alongside David and Val Gwynne from Troon Fairtrade Initiative, stand with Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, The R&A’s Executive Director of Championships, and the Claret Jug beside a banner describing how The Open is using Fairtrade products in Troon, June 2016.
The summer of Fair Trade continues in the sports sector with the announcement that Fairtrade products will be available in all catering outlets at The 145th Open at Troon from 10-17 July 2016.
All tea, coffee, hot chocolate, sugar and bananas at the Championship will be Fairtrade.
This is the second year running that the Open has committed to using Fairtrade products throughout its on-course catering outlets. It builds on the work carried out by the St Andrews Fairtrade Town group who helped to introduce Fairtrade products to the Open for the first time in 2015. At the Championship in St Andrews last year, approximately 60,000 cups of Fairtrade filter coffee and 12,500 Fairtrade bananas were consumed.
This year, the R&A announced their continued commitment to Fair Trade at the launch event for their new sustainability programme, Greenlinks, on 16 June at the Marine Hotel in Troon. Greenlinks “addresses a broad scope of issues across the staging of the Championship related to nature, communities and resources,” said Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, Executive Director – Championships at The R&A. The initiative aims to make The Open “one of the world’s most sustainable sporting events.”
In preparation for welcoming the 170,000 expected visitors to Troon during the week-long tournament, the Troon Fairtrade Initiative have worked in partnership with the Championship’s organisers to ensure that Fair Trade is visibly promoted and there is information about where to buy Fairtrade products.
A flag with the Troon Fairtrade Initiative logo will fly over the course and there will be information boards and banners around the event explaining the use of Fairtrade produce.
Visitors will also have the opportunity to see an exhibition about Fair Trade (with material being provided by local Fairtrade schools) in the Troon library and Fair Trade window stickers will be displayed in Fair Trade shops and businesses across the town. The group have also updated the Troon Directory of Fairtrade which will be available for use throughout the tournament and beyond.
Martin Rhodes, Director of the Scottish Fair Trade Forum said: “We are excited to see the interest in Fair Trade in the sports sector this summer. The Open is a great example of a high-profile, international sport event going Fairtrade and committing to ethical purchasing in the long-term. It is also an excellent example of the impact that local Fairtrade groups can have.”
For Val and David Gwynne, Fair Trade campaigners for over 40 years and members of the Troon Fairtrade Initiative since its formation in 2007, seeing The Open at Troon declaring its support for Fair Trade is a monumental development, with Val summing up the achievement by saying “it’s just fantastic!”
Golf’s oldest and most international championship supporting Fair Trade will undoubtedly have a far-reaching effect, helping to maintain and increase support for the Fair Trade movement in the Troon district and beyond.
We hope The Open can inspire other organisations and events to follow suit and contribute to a fairer future for all.