BRADFORD Council supported Fairtrade Fortnight, which began on Monday, with a stall promoting baking with Fairtrade ingredients.

Staff at the Council supported Fairtrade Fortnight by baking cakes for colleagues using Fairtrade ingredients such as cocoa, chocolate, bananas, sugar and spices.

The cakes and other treats were sold to colleagues at Margaret McMillan Tower, in Bradford city centre, over lunchtime on Wednesday, with all the proceeds going to the Bradford Metropolitan Food Bank charity. £175 was raised for the charity, which was chosen to add a local benefit to the Fairtrade event. Staff at other council workplaces were also been encouraged to get involved by baking Fairtrade goodies for colleagues.

Ilkley events for Fairtrade Fortnight

City centre events to celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight will include a Fairtrade breakfast at Bradford Cathedral on Sunday from 8.30am.

The breakfast, offering Fairtrade muesli, jam, marmalade, chocolate spread, tea and coffee, is open to everyone, for a suggested donation of £3.

Fairtrade Fortnight events are happening around the district at Baildon, Burley in Wharfedale, Ilkley, Keighley, Shipley, and Haworth, the world's first Fairtrade Village. Haworth Fairtrade Group will be on the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway steam train departing at 11.45am on Saturday from Oxenhope. They will be handing out samples of Fairtrade goodies to the visitors and passengers, and will be joined by staff from Oxenhope Co-op, with entertainment by musicians Ian and Reuben.

A further selection of activities at the district’s towns and villages will see cafés, churches, shops, markets and various groups organising stalls selling Fairtrade products and tastings of Fairtrade goodies, and also a walk with Fairtrade refreshments.

There will even be a competition, with Ilkley Fairtrade volunteers joining up with Ilkley Soroptimists to find the most inspiring local woman, who will be presented with a hamper of Fairtrade goodies donated by local supermarkets.

A number of events will tie in with International Women’s Day on March 8, a fitting association, as this year’s Fairtrade Fortnight is particularly highlighting the work of women who grow cocoa.

Bradford District became a Fairtrade Zone in March 2006. This means Bradford Council is committed to supporting Fairtrade, local shops stock Fairtrade goods and there is popular support in the local area. All the coffee, tea, chocolate and bananas provided as part of Bradford Council meetings, functions and meals are procured from Fairtrade sources as far as is practical.

Councillor Adrian Farley, Bradford Council’s Fairtrade champion, said: “Almost all cocoa farmers in West Africa live in poverty, earning less than half of what is considered to be a ‘living income’ for the region. For the women, the situation is even worse. They may work hard on the farm, transport the cocoa beans to market, and still take care of children and family life, but often with fewer rights than men. Fairtrade Fortnight aims to help make a living income a reality for cocoa farmers in West Africa.

“We can all do our bit by choosing Fairtrade – and helping improve the lives of the people who grow our food. I’d like to thank all the volunteers, businesses and groups involved in Fairtrade Fortnight this year for giving the district’s people an opportunity to make a difference.”

Karen Palframan, chairman of Bradford Fairtrade Zone, said: “Many of us love chocolate, but how often do we think about the people, especially the women, who grow the cocoa that is used to make our favourite treat?

“This Fairtrade Fortnight we are inviting people to events across the district, where you can enjoy Fairtrade products including chocolate. There is plenty of choice, and it’s all delicious, so even if you don’t normally buy Fairtrade, please take the opportunity to try something different.

“Fairtrade products are ethical, high quality, competitively priced and put farmers first. We’d love you to switch to Fairtrade in your shopping basket.”