Fair Trade at the Open

It has been announced that Fairtrade is now embedded into the procurement process of the Open Championships.

          Philip Russell, Assistant Director of the Open has informed campaigners that “Fairtrade is now embedded into the procurement process”, which includes the Open’s website stating “Supporting ethical food production is part of The Open’s continuing commitment to hosting a sustainable event.” This is thanks to the amazingwork done by the St Andrews Fairtrade Town Group in the run up to the Open 2015 and theTroon Fairtrade Intiative in 2016.

           In 2015 Mary Popple, Chair of the St Andrews Fairtrade Town Group, commented: “It has been excellent to work closely with The R&A around their use and promotion of Fairtrade produce at the 144th Open”. The work they did led to the consumption of approximately 60,000 cups of Fairtrade filter coffee and 12,500 Fairtrade bananas. Mary has continued to work with the R&A to ensure that Fair Trade became a vital part of the Open.

           After the fantastic work in 2015 theTroon Fairtrade Initiative worked in partnership with the organisers of the Open to guarantee a strong Fair Trade presence. During the championships there was an exhibition about Fair Trade (with content provided by local Fairtrade schools) in Troon library and Fair Trade advertising across the town. This was “fantastic” according to Val and David Gwynne, members of the Troon Fairtrade Initiative since its formation in 2007 and Fair Trade campaigners for over 40 years, whose work led to the sustainability of the huge event.

           This is an outstanding and lasting result for local campaigners that will help make a global impact. The continued work of these and other local communities has ensured the future of Fair Trade at a major, international sporting event, which can only lead to more.