Last night my wife and I joined a large group of people at St Mathews School in Ipswich for a Fairtrade Wine tasting, this was the second year the event had been run and it is masterminded by the Ipswich Fairtrade Steering committee which is led by our own Councilor Carole Jones. Last year they only had 3 full tables for the wine tasting and the quiz but this year the hall was packed and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.
The event in Ipswich was helped by the support of the local Co-op who are at the forefront of Fairtrade in this country. You can see that it is success just from the announcement yesterday that all Tate and Lyle sugar is now to be Fairtrade.
thanks to work of Sue and her committee, Ipswich should have been named today as a "Fairtrade Town".
What did surprise me that the local Liberals, believe themselves to be the champion of anything deemed to be 'fair', 'green' or 'eco', but only a Small handful of Liberals were present last night- no Tories that I noticed, but over 20 Labour activists including at least 10 Labour Councilors- and thanks to Carole- we were the last to sample the Fairtrade cheese and biscuits!
More on the Fairtrade fortnight can be found here.
The most inspiring moment of the night was when Vernon, a young South African who work for the farmers of Thandi. In 2003 Thandi became the world's first Fairtrade wine following the certification of its grape growers. His speech on how this year they actually made a profit so they were to sponsor the first girl from Thandi to go to university. After listening to his passionate speech, the Fairtrade stand did a brisk business.