THREE INISHOWEN towns are aiming to secure Fairtrade status ahead of Fairtrade Fortnight 2023.
Buncrana is currently in the running to be named Inishowen’s third Inishowen town [Carndonagh and Moville have already received the prestigious title], with Ballyliffin and Clonmany setting their sights on ‘Fairtrade Community’ status.
As part of the campaign, ChangeMakers Donegal has been working with volunteers in the local communities and is now inviting Inishowen shoppers to buy fair trade products this February during Fairtrade Fortnight which runs from 27 February to 12 March.
Myra McAuliffe, Project Coordinator with ChangeMakers explains how encouraging people to buy Fairtrade products, such as tea, coffee, bananas, chocolate and even flowers and cotton with the Fairtrade mark can make a difference.
“Most of us enjoy a cup of tea or coffee but did you know everyday items such as these provide an opportunity to act in solidarity with the people who produce the goods?” explained Myra.
“The Fairtrade movement works with farming co-operatives, businesses, and governments to make trade fair for farmers and workers. It provides safer working conditions and fairer pay while for shoppers it means high quality, ethically produced products.”
To support the Buncrana efforts, ChangeMakers are inviting Ugandan Tea Farmer Innocent Owomuhangi to Inishowen to speak to the community about how important it is to them that we buy Fairtrade items where possible.
The first of these events will take place on Monday 6 March at 1pm in the Exchange Buncrana. This is a public event and everyone is invited to come along and listen what Innocent has to say and how local people’s shopping choices make a difference to the people in his community in Uganda.
Buncrana councillor Jack Murray, who is also chairperson of the Fairtrade Buncrana committee said they have small changes within the council, ensuring that fairtrade tea and coffee is available in all Donegal County Council buildings. It will also be available in local restaurants and cafes, where possible.
“This Fairtrade Fortnight we encourage Inishowen people to buy Fairtrade,” said Cllr. Murray.
“We look forward to welcoming Innocent Owomuhangi from Uganda to Inishowen for events in Buncrana and Clonmany.
“Everyone in the community; whether you are a shopper, a chef or business owner, is welcome to come and meet Innocent who is a worker on the Kayonza Growers Tea Factory Limited in Uganda and an Ambassador for Fairtrade International.”
Cllr. Murray added: “While buying Fairtrade is an act of solidarity with people in places like Africa and Colombia, it is also another step towards being a sustainable region.”
Meanwhile other Inishowen events as part of the Fairtrade fortnight include:
- On Sunday 5 March at 7:30pm, the monthly Disappear Here Film Club is back with a climate change themed film planned and a post film community discussion with Innocent Owomuhangi, Fairtrade International Ambassador.
- Carndonagh residents can attend the Carndonagh Fairtrade Coffee Morning, in association with Spraoi agus Sport Mother and Toddler Group on Saturday 4 March at 11am.
- Fairtrade Dunfanaghy are organising a Fairtrade Coffee morning on Thursday 9 March, location and time to follow on our social media pages.
Local Schools to embrace Fairtrade
Local schools are also getting behind the campaign; Crana College in Buncrana is applying for status as a Fairtrade School. Its students will present a stall at SuperValu Buncrana showcasing Fairtrade products and they will partake in an education workshop with ChangeMakers Donegal, the Irish Aid funded community project, which champions the cause to think global and act local in Donegal. Primary school students at Scoil Phadraig, Rasheeny, will learn about Fairtrade too in a workshop with Patsy Toland of ChangeMakers Donegal and WorldWise Global Schools.
For more information and resources visit www.changemakers.ie & or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.