Wareham Fairtrade Group was formed in 2004 with the aim of helping the town in its application to become a ‘Fairtrade Town’. This was granted by the Fairtrade Foundation the following year and has been renewed every two years since then.
As a Fairtrade town we agree to promote Fairtrade goods which enables the producers to receive a guaranteed price so allowing them to have a better and more sustainable standard of living.
Members of the Town Council agree to encourage the use of Fairtrade goods at Town Council sponsored activities. The Fairtrade Group encourages local shops, catering outlets and businesses to consider supplying or using Fairtrade products and tries to promote and improve the awareness of Fairtrade throughout the town.
One of the main activities of the Wareham Fairtrade Group is to make Fairtrade goods available on a regular basis. Stalls are set up every Saturday morning in the Parish Hall; in the United Reformed Church on the 1st, 3rd and 5th Thursday of the month and in the Town Hall when the Farmers’ Market is open. Goods range from coffee, tea, sugar, chocolate, dried fruits, pasta and soap to small gifts, cards and socks. A catalogue is always available to browse through and view the range of clothing, other foodstuffs and household goods on offer which can always be ordered.
Quite a number of shops in Wareham sell a variety of Fairtrade goods including tea, coffee, sugar, bananas and wine. These can always be identified by the internationally recognised Fairtrade Logo. It is one of our tasks to ensure that the names of these businesses are included in the ‘Purbeck Directory of Fairtrade Goods’. This is only one of the many ways in which we work with the Purbeck Fairtrade Group. Another is by celebrating the Annual Fairtrade Fortnight, (this year 25th Feb. To 8th March), by talking to customers in the local stores and in organising events. In the past these have included wine tasting, ‘Big Brews’, folk concerts, quiz night and a charity ball held by the Mayor who nominated Fairtrade as one of her charities. This year we will celebrate with another popular ‘Ball and Socket’ musical evening with guest singer Miro Vosper, on Friday 3rd April at Corfe Village Hall.
Over the years our secretary, Judith Holmes, has visited a number of Fairtrade producers and craft workers in India, Africa and Central America. The pictures and artefacts collected by Judith on these trips help to illustrate her many fascinating talks. These in turn bring us much closer to the people we hope to help, to appreciate their difficulties and to see how our support can begin to improve their lives. The fair wages and 10% premium which the Fairtrade Foundation gives to local communities often means that children can go to school and that healthcare is made accessible to everyone.
As a group we support our local schools in helping children understand how our way of life impacts on that of others. Throughout the country there are now 1000 Fairtrade School Groups as well as over 600 Fairtrade Towns. Education in all its aspects is high on the agenda of the Fairtrade Foundation.
All our local churches support Fairtrade in various ways and we are grateful that a number of them make their premises available for Fairtrade activities.
We would like to thank everyone in Wareham – who in any way supports the work of Fairtrade – and in particular the Town Council for taking the initiative to make Wareham a Fairtrade Town.