City Council Tourism Team brings Fair Trade to the City

As Fairtrade Fortnight 2006 comes to an end this weekend, Winchester City Council is marking the occasion by hosting its first fair trade market.

Organised by Winchester City Council's tourism service, the fair trade market offers a diverse range of art, craft and food items from producers who believe that profit does not need to be at the expense of the producer.

From Nepalese jewellery, brightly coloured Peruvian and Indonesian clothing to dried fruit, tea and coffee, there will be a wide assortment of ethically produced items to suit everyone.

Winchester City Council's Portfolio Holder for Planning and Councillor for Fair Trade Matters in Winchester, Cllr John Beveridge, said, "The principles of fair trade are fundamental to the development of a more equal, sustainable and inclusive global society. I welcome this market to Winchester at such an appropriate time and I hope both residents and visitors will give it their wholehearted support."

Winchester Tourism's Special Events Officer, Elaine Robbins said, "Having introduced the French market to Winchester three years ago, we are very pleased to be adding another event to the shopping calendar. Visitors have always loved the specialist shops in the city, and this market will build on that enjoyment. As always we are very grateful to the generosity of the Acting Dean in allowing the market to take place in the Outer Close on Friday and Saturday."

To help promote the market children from St Bede's School were invited to draw a picture embodying what the principles of fair trade mean to them. The winner, Theo Webb aged 8, will have his picture transformed into a poster.

The market will be in the pleasant surroundings of the cathedral's Outer Close, just off the High Street, between 9am and 5pm on Friday 17th and Saturday 18th, and on Sunday 19th it will relocate to the pedestrianised area of Middle Brook Street, just outside the Brooks Shopping Centre, between 10am and 4pm.

Members of Winchester's Fair Trade Group have been working hard for some time now to achieve 'Fair Trade Town' status for Winchester and it is hoped that the official status will be awarded in the near future. Winchester City Council is committed to the project and Fairtrade tea and coffee are on sale at the Courtyard Café and Broadway Bean in Winchester's Guildhall The coffee is available in staff vending machines and both Fairtrade tea and coffee are served at council meetings.