GOSPORT’S mayor and member of parliament both praised Gosport’s branch of the Fairtrade organisation when they were among the 1,450 visitors to the group’s awareness day at Gosport’s Discovery Centre.
The mayor, Councillor Keith Farr, said Gosport was proud of the volunteers who had firmly established Fairtrade in the town.
He said: ‘Through the hard work and determination of the group more supermarkets and shops in the town are now selling Fairtrade products and 15 restaurants and cafes are using Fairtrade ingredients in their food.’
Mr Farr added that he was tremendously impressed with the progress made since he visited the group last year.
Gosport’s member of parliament Caroline Dineage, an enthusiastic supporter of Fairtrade, visited the many stalls which illustrated aspects of the organisation.
She said: ‘I’m delighted to see that Fairtrade’s positive message is being followed by Gosport’s schools and colleges together with businesses and workplaces.
‘I think we can all support Fairtrade’s aims to ensure that farmers get a fair deal while promoting equality of opportunity for female farmers, helping to ensure a good education and health for their children and encouraging sustainable farming practices without the use of dangerous chemicals.’
Fairtrade committee member Sarah Hirom paid tribute to the many who had helped make the event such a success.
‘We had magnificent support from the young people’s group Loud and Proud and students from St Vincent College who did everything asked of them with great grace, good humour and empathy to the large number of visitors. I also want to thank the shop, pubs and cafes who generously gave us raffle prizes,’ she added
A Columbian banana grower Julio Mercado Cantillo, 57, gave a talk on the importance of Fairtrade’s help to the banana industry in Columbia.
A big attraction outside the Discovery Centre was The Big Noise Samba Band who entertained passers-by.