Dover Fairtrade Town Network celebrated a very busy and successful year at their AGM in the Town Council offices on Thursday 18 January. Tribute was paid to the late Councillor Ronnie Philpott who was a long-standing member of the group and Vice-Chairman and Rev. Michael Hinton, a founder member in 2005, who was unable to be present due to ill health.

Fairtrade is a simple way we can all make a difference through our everyday choices. It is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability and Fairtrade terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. When an item has the Fairtrade mark you can be sure that the price paid to the produces at least covers the costs of production plus an extra bit of money to help them invest in making their communities a better place to live. Workers on Fairtrade farms earn decent wages and can join unions. Producers in Fairtrade co-operatives, both men and women, always have a democratic say in decision making.

Dover has been a Fairtrade Town since 2009. During this year the Group has acted to increase the profile of Fairtrade in Dover by sharing information and delicious Fairtrade food including fruit, tea, coffee and chocolate at town events including its annual evening Fairtrade Reception. The Fairtrade stall was very popular at the Multicultural Festival in May, the Dover Regatta, the Urban Fete and the Town Council Christmas Switch-on event. The Group made a presentation to Dover College and is very keen to take the Fairtrade message to other local schools and youth groups.

Fairtrade fortnight this year is 26 February to 11 March and the group would love to welcome more members to support its work and bring fresh ideas – the theme this year is “Come On In”.

Dover Town Council has supported the work of the Group since its set up and gave a grant of £450 this year towards costs. Councillor Pam Brivio is the group secretary and Councillor Ann Jenner is the Town Council’s official representative.

If you would like to get more involved please contact Pam Brivio on 07772 471905 or email pambrivio@ntlworld.com