Sunderland hosts North East’s first Fairtrade conference

The Museum and Winter Gardens was the venue for a Fair Trade Festival last year that had special guest visits from Sunderland-born TV celebrity Lauren Lavern as well as the city's Mayor and Mayoress.'Lauren Laverne is pictured with the Mayor of Sunderland, Coun Robert Heron and Nikki Walker from the Lifestyle, Activity and Food Programme (LAF).

The Museum and Winter Gardens was the venue for a Fair Trade Festival last year that had special guest visits from Sunderland-born TV celebrity Lauren Lavern as well as the city's Mayor and Mayoress.'Lauren Laverne is pictured with the Mayor of Sunderland, Coun Robert Heron and Nikki Walker from the Lifestyle, Activity and Food Programme (LAF).

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SUNDERLAND will host the North East’s first region-wide Fairtrade conference tomorrow.

The North Region Fairtrade Supporter Conference, at the Stadium of Light, will be both a celebration and a networking event in partnership with the Fairtrade Foundation.

Guests will hear about what the global campaign to promote and protect the interests of growers and producers in developing countries has achieved since the Fairtrade mark was established 20 years ago.

Patricia Alexander, managing director of Fairtrade co-operative Shared Interest, said: “It is an honour to be speaking at such an integral event in the Fairtrade calendar.

“As Shared Interest finances farming and handicraft organisations across the globe, we are especially proud to be based in the North East and be part of the first Fairtrade conference to be held here.”

The event brings together partners from across the North East and Cumbria, with the Sunderland Fairtrade Partnership representing the region on the National Campaign Committee (NCC) which is also holding its elections this year.

Cabinet secretary for Sunderland City Council Coun Mel Speding said; “We can all be proud that Sunderland achieved Fairtrade City status seven years ago, and that we have been asked to host the first North Region Fairtrade Supporter Conference. The event will help us celebrate the contribution made by all those people and organisations in our region who have worked hard for over 20 years.

“They have helped to establish the aims of the Fairtrade campaign in the public’s imagination and the presence of its products in our shops, supermarkets, cafes and restaurants.

“Providing farmers in the developing world with a place in the Global economy is vital to the future of our international community.”