Buckingham set to lose Fairtrade Town status as steering group is wound up

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All of the current group members are ready to step down and nobody has come forward to take over

After 16 years of proudly declaring itself a Fairtrade Town, Buckingham is about to lose its Fairtrade status.

The Buckingham Fairtrade Steering Group has been promoting Fairtrade in the town for 18 years, but all three current members of the group are now ready to step down. Two of them have been involved since the very beginning, before Fairtrade status was granted.

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The group put out an appeal for new, enthusiastic members back in October, but nobody put themselves forward, so the steering group has resolved to wind up. Buckingham will cease to be a Fairtrade Town from July 2023.

Members of the Fairtrade Steering Group at the Buckingham Food FairMembers of the Fairtrade Steering Group at the Buckingham Food Fair
Members of the Fairtrade Steering Group at the Buckingham Food Fair

Buckingham gained its Fairtrade Town status in 2007, with support from Buckingham Town Council. The steering group has held many successful events, encouraging people to think about how they shop and how their purchases can be hugely beneficial for farmers who produce the foods we cannot grow in this country, including bananas, tea, coffee, chocolate, dried fruits, nuts and oils.

Through a premium paid for Fairtrade goods, the producers have the chance to improve their products and workplaces, their communities, healthcare and provision for children’s schooling.

The group has also delivered school assemblies, and hosted visits from producers from countries in Africa and South America totalk about their lives and the impact Fairtrade has had in improving their businesses, their environments, health and schooling.

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A group spokesperson said: “Fairtrade will remain embedded in the town as part of Buckingham Town Council’s Climate Emergency Action Plan, and in both our secondary schools, in many of our small shops and our supermarkets.

"It is very much a part of the movement towards more environmentally conscious living. It is our hope that the people of Buckingham will continue to ask for and seek out Fairtrade products in their everyday lives.”

Any members of the public who would like to help champion the cause into the future can speak to Mary Simons at Finca El Monte, on Well Street, call her on 01280 308014 or get in touch by email.