The Kilgetty-based Fair Trade in Football campaign was recently invited to attend a fair trade panel in the Jubilee Room of the House of Commons in Westminster.
The event of Clr. Miriam Rice, The London Co-op Party, was held to celebrate World Fair Trade Day. After visiting the website of the Fair Trade in Football campaign, Miriam got in touch and invited them to share about their work and their connection to schools, clubs and communities.
Speakers included Preet Gill MP, Shadow Cabinet Minister for International Development, James Murray MP, Shadow Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Michael Gidney, CEO of the Fairtrade Foundation – Fairtrade and the Climate Emergency, and Sharron Hardwick, Founder of Fair Trade In Football -Campaign.
The Fair Trade In Football campaign began in 2009, its first activity in Haverfordwest County, where a Fair Trade football and basket were donated to the club. Since then they have partnered with many local schools, football clubs, Pembrokeshire sports organizations and the Stoke City Community Trust who use Fairtrade footballs in some of their activities. The main events in Pembrokeshire are the Fair Trade Cups, hosted by the campaign’s top supporters, Tavernspite CP, where 12 schools play Fairtrade football, representing Fairtrade producing countries.
Kevin Phelps, Principal at Tavernspite CP said:
“Our annual Fairtrade football tournament, held at our school, was also a highlight, with local schools competing as different Fairtrade nations. This has done an incredible job of raising awareness of Fairtrade and creating the right conversations with employees, children, parents and the wider community. We use this as a means to ensure that fairness and respect towards players are promoted and that the values that Fairtrade champions – justice, equality and empathy – are reflected in the behavior of children on the football pitch.”
It is hoped that the MPs, councilors and cooperative members present will take positive action and use their power to ensure workers, farmers and their families are treated more fairly through everything that Fairtrade standards guarantee: safe and fair working conditions, fair, sustainable wages, workers’ rights without forced or child labor, with environmentally friendly methods. Ensuring communities benefit from Fairtrade Premiums, an additional amount of money paid per Fairtrade item sold that Fairtrade Committee members use to improve their local communities by paying for shelter, medical care, clean water and pay more.
“It was an amazing experience walking from Paddington Station to Hyde Park, Queens Park with my Fairtrade football, then passing all the famous attractions including the Changing of the Guard and Fairtrade Cream Tea at Westminster House of Commons! It was an honor to cover the campaign and spend time with people in positions of power. I hope their engagement will empower, engage and encourage others to use Fairtrade footballs in schools and football clubs and take steps to ensure Fairtrade standards are put in place in football production,” said Sharron Hardwick.
For more information visit www.fairtradeinfootball.com www.fairtrade.org.uk/