Oundle first achieved Fairtrade Town Status in 2007 and has gone on to have this renewed every two years. This status shows that the community of Oundle has added its voice to demands for a trade system that puts people, not profit, at the heart of the transaction.
Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. By requiring companies to pay sustainable prices (which must never fall lower than the market price), Fairtrade addresses the injustices of conventional trade, which traditionally discriminates against the poorest, weakest producers. It enables them to improve their position and have more control over their lives.
Having Fairtrade status means that Oundle has met goals set out by the Fairtrade Foundation (www.fairtrade.org.uk). Oundle Town Council supports Fairtrade and agrees to serve Fairtrade products. A Fairtrade Steering Group has been set up, chaired by Eleanor Rayden, and includes representatives from Oundle Town Council, Midlands Co-op, Oundle School and local businesses. You will find a range of Fairtrade products available in Oundle’s shops, restaurants and cafés. Many local workplaces and community organisations support Fairtrade. It is actively promoted at local events, raising awareness and support.
Each year there is a popular Fairtrade/Eco Market in St Peter’s Church, held on the second Saturday of November; here there is a wide variety of stalls selling Fairtrade food, handmade goods and crafts, recycled and organic products. There are also stalls selling Fairtrade goods at the annual Oundle Food Festival and during Fairtrade Fortnight each year.
In August 2013, after a year’s promotion of Fairtrade in many imaginative ways, Oundle Primary School (www.oundleprimary.com) was awarded Fairtrade School status – the first local school to achieve this.