Bid to win Fairtrade status for Dewsbury

FAIR DEAL Anne Robinson, right, with Janet Howarth. (D534B309)
FAIR DEAL Anne Robinson, right, with Janet Howarth. (D534B309)

An ex-teacher is spearheading a campaign to make Dewsbury a Fairtrade town.

As Fairtrade fortnight gets under way, Anne Robinson says the town has fallen behind the rest of the region.

Yorkshire was this year declared the UK’s first Fairtrade region, Kirklees renewed its Fairtrade status last year, and both Huddersfield and Mirfield have earned Fairtrade town accreditation.

Mrs Robinson, 74, said: “We need to try to promote Fairtrade in North Kirklees. Its profile needs raising – there are even Fairtrade schools in South Kirklees.

“Large multinationals don’t pay their workers very much and low wages mean people struggle to pay for hospitals and schools. But by buying Fairtrade items we can ensure better wages are being paid to people in developing countries.”

The town will need to achieve five goals to prove that it is committed to better prices and working conditions for farmers and workers in the developing world.

This includes setting up a steering committee to promote Fairtrade and Mrs Robinson is encouraging volunteers to come forward.

She hopes to survey supermarkets, shops and cafes in Dewsbury to encourage retailers to take the issue seriously. 
School visits are also planned to educate pupils.

Mrs Robinson is a lay reader at Dewsbury Minster, which regularly sells fairly traded goods. This weekend all cakes, tea and coffee served in the Minster refectory will be Fairtrade.