Co-op spreads Fairtrade message during two weeks of celebrations

Central England Co-operative has joined together with its communities to mark a special Fairtrade Fortnight with two weeks of activities.

The celebrations coincided with the 25th anniversary of Fairtrade products hitting the shelves in the UK, with the Co-op having been there every step of the way.

Therefore, Central England Co-op was determined to spread the Fairtrade message to its members and customers, as well as educating people about the people who grow food, people who live in some of the poorest countries in the world and who are often exploited and badly paid.

The Society did this through a mixture of fun events with a Fairtrade theme in their communities from football matches to tea dances, as well as educational workshops and assemblies with schools and community groups.

In Leicester, the retailer’s Southern Membership and Community Council (MCC) held the first ‘Can’t Play Players’ women’s football match which saw Members and colleagues with little or no experience of playing the game take on the challenge to raise awareness and vital funds for the retailer’s corporate charity Dementia UK.

The matchball was a special Bala UK Fairtrade football and to thank the hosts AFC Andrews Football Club, the MCC donated 12 of the fairly traded footballs to the club’s youth set up.

Both the retailer’s Western MCC and Northern MCC also made donations of Fairtrade footballs to local clubs, with Diamond Academy Football Club in Birmingham and Chesterfield FC Women benefitting.

Two special tea dances were also held during the two weeks. In Burton on Trent Members from across the country gathered at the Town Hall for an afternoon of dancing and Fairtrade tea, coffee and cake.

Meanwhile, in Great Barr, Birmingham, colleagues from across Central England Co-op’s family of businesses hosted an intergenerational Fairtrade tea dance with local schoolchildren and elderly residents of a nearby sheltered housing complex coming together for a wonderful morning of dance, interaction and Fairtrade treats.

Across the country, the Society’s Membership and Community Relations Officers, as well as colleagues and MCC Members, delivered the Fairtrade message to thousands of children through workshops, assemblies and special in-store ethical challenges.

Karen Bevan, Member and Community Relations Officer at Central England Co-op, said: “2020 has been one of our best ever Fairtrade Fortnights and I’m confident we have really got people talking about Fairtrade and understanding its importance during its 25th anniversary year.

“We have had some really memorable events that have given our Members and communities a great time, while also ensuring the key messages around Fairtrade are always at the forefront of people’s minds.”