Ponteland gets ready to focus on Fairtrade

PONTELAND residents are once again being asked to support events taking place during Fairtrade Fortnight.

After spreading awareness of the international movement which highlights goods made or collected in the developing world, where producers and workers receive a living wage, improved working conditions and additional benefits for their towns and villages, the Ponteland Fairtrade Steering Group has gained plenty of support in the community.

The main events this year are two big brews. Those coming along can sample Fairtrade tea, coffee and biscuits, supermarkets in the area have donated some of its Fairtrade products for raffles and there will be a stall to give people the opportunity to find out more information.

Ponteland High School is a designated Fairtrade School, so it will be doing a range of activities. Richard Coates Middle School has already done a ‘snack attack’ challenge – where pupils designed their own Fairtrade snack bar – and some of the drawings will be on display in Sainsbury’s and Waitrose.

Steve Helm, chairman of the steering group, said: “We’ve been delighted with the response from businesses, organisations and Ponteland Town Council over the last few years, adding to the support from the churches which was already in place, and it enabled us to achieve Fairtrade Town status in 2012.

“Hopefully, many residents will attend the big brews and decent numbers of Fairtrade products will be purchased all-year round. Within the last 12 months, the new cafe in Bell Villas (Jan’s Kitchen) has been added to our list as it serves Fairtrade tea and coffee.

“It’s also good to see a range of schoolchildren involved in Fairtrade activities so they can understand the importance of the movement.”

The first big brew will be held in St Mary’s Church Hall, Thornhill Road, between 10am and noon. The second will take place in St Matthew’s Church Hall, West Road, from 10am to noon.