Northern Ireland: A Fairtrade Devolved Region
On 19 June 2017 Northern Ireland was declared a Fairtrade Devolved Region at a ceremony in the Great Hall in Parliament Buildings, Belfast.
Northern Ireland has fulfilled the targets needed to become a Fairtrade Devolved Region with all five of its cities and six of its 11 councils attaining Fairtrade status while the remaining councils are currently working towards the Fairtrade standard. Central government, higher education institutions, schools, places of worship, businesses and workplaces have also played a vital role in the initiative, with many attaining or working towards Fairtrade accreditation.
To celebrate this achievement the official declaration and launch of the report was made on Monday 19th June 2017 in Parliament Buildings, Stormont. The Scottish Fair Trade Forum Director, Martin Rhodes as well as the Forum's board members Angus Coull and Charles Sim attended the celebration.
Dr Christopher Stange, Secretariat All Party Group on Fairtrade said:
“This regional commitment to the developing world through local action and purchasing Fairtrade products is the culmination of two decades of voluntary action, uniting all sections of society. Through Fairtrade we ensure a better future for those less fortunate creating a lasting legacy and connection between Northern Ireland and the developing world.”
Northern Ireland’s achievement is a great step forward for the Fair Trade Regions and Nations movement. In September 2016, The Scottish Fair Trade Forum organised for a group of representatives of Fair Trade organisations from around the world to meet in Glasgow to discuss their interest in the concept of Fair Trade Nations and Regions.
Martin Rhodes, Director of the Scottish Fair Trade Forum, commented, “It is great to see that Northern Ireland has adopted the model developed by Scotland and Wales. This achievement of status by Northern Ireland is another stage in the Fair Trade journey of nations and regions.”