Fairtrade City Launched

Oxford City’s Fairtrade Status was launched at a event in Oxford Town Hall on the 5th March 2004. The event, reported here on IndyMedia, included The Lord Mayor and speakers from the International Federation for Alternative Trade, Kuapa Kokoo Cocoa Cooperative (Ghana), and Oxford Brookes – the countries first Fairtrade University.

Fairtrade City Launched

Fairtrade City Launched

At the time this report was written for the Fairtrade Coalition website:

Town Hall guests fell silent on Friday March 5th 2004 as a personal message from Nelson Mandela congratulating Oxford on its launch as a Fairtrade City was read out by the Lord Mayor Cllr Pat Stannard.

Mr Mandela, who was given the freedom of the city on behalf of all South Africans in 1997, stated, “I again rejoice and congratulate you on your continuing work to promote social justice and development in our world. Fair trade offers producers in developing countries a just return for their labour and an opportunity to help their communities to grow and develop with the proceeds they receive.”

“By supporting Fairtrade, Oxford is affirming once more its commitment to partnership and friendship with people in South Africa and around the world. In a world where much trade is not fair, such partnerships and friendships offer hope for the future. Together, we are taking steps towards building a more just world economy.”

Strong applause met his final words:
“This is an important step forward. We must continue on this path, to build real opportunities and freedom for us all.” Minutes later, a samba band filled the Town Hall with music to celebrate the launch.

Speakers at the Oxford reception were:

*

Carol Wills, Executive Director of the International Fair Trade Association;

*

Cllr. Pat Stannard,

*

Lord Mayor of the City of Oxford;

*

Rex Knight, deputy vice-chancellor of Oxford Brookes;

*

Georgina Kwaw and Elizabeth Adjei, recorders from the Kuapa Kokoo cocoa cooperative in Ghana.

*

Roy Scott, owner of the One Village fair-trade stores, presented a certificate from the Fairtrade Foundation to the Lord Mayor.

Guests at the reception included:

*

Mr. Carlos Betancour, charge d’affaires for Uruguay, Mr.

*

Hugo Brunner, the Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire;

*

Mr. Gustavo Meza-Cuadra, charge d’affaires for Peru;

*

Dr. Evan Harris, MP for Oxford West and Abingdon;

*

Ian Leggett, director of the campaigning organisation People and Planet;

*

Roy Scott, founder of One Village;

*

Kate Sebag, co-founder of Tropical Wholefoods, a Fairtrade food company;

*

Rt.Hon. Andrew Smith, MP for Oxford East;

*

Sophi Tranchell, managing director of Divine Chocolate Company.

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