Donegal Town plans to mark its new Fairtrade status with a festive style celebration on the Diamond, Donegal Town this coming Saturday from 12 noon to 2pm.
The event will coincide with Fairtrade Fortnight, which is an annual campaign to increase public awareness around how supporting Fairtrade can benefit farmers and labourers in developing countries.
The Fairtrade Launch Celebration will be held alongside the local Food and Craft Market and promises to be a colourful day, with loads of activities, performances, prizes and Fairtrade displays by local schools.
Committee member Vanessa Purdy explains: “We felt that holding our celebration in partnership with the fortnightly Food and Craft Market is another positive step. It’s important to remember Fairtrade products such as coffee, tea, cocoa, bananas and cotton cannot be grown in Ireland and we have a moral obligation to ensure these goods are fairly traded.
“It’s also important to remember that we have our indigenous crafts, labour force and food producers. When we campaign for Fairtrade, we are thinking globally; when we buy local produce and services, we are acting locally and keeping profits in our community.”
Local FÁS workers are going to help drape the town centre with Fairtrade cotton bunting, while some shops are busy preparing Fairtrade window displays for the big day. The local Foróige youth club samba band are busy rehearsing for a colourful performance on the Diamond.
Donegal Town Mayor Paul Keeney, has also pledged his support and is working to get new Fairtrade signs erected on all main approaches into the town.
George Flaherty, who has been selling Fairtrade coffee at the Donegal Town Food and Craft markets for the
It was George who took it upon himself to approach and inform all the local businesses in Donegal Town about the Fairtrade movement and signed them up. For George, this Saturday’s launch is as much about local as global empowerment.
“Our local community is going through a tough time at the moment with this recession, and many people are struggling,” he said.
“For me, March 5th is all about celebrating something positive and giving hope both to others and ourselves. It’s better to light a candle than curse the darkness.”