West Sussex has been awarded Fairtrade County status by the Fairtrade Foundation, for its commitment to the trading principles.
This follows a two year campaign led by Fairtrade West Sussex, which was set up in 2009.
The local Fairtrade Steering Group, with the support of West Sussex County Council, has achieved the five criteria necessary to be granted this award.
The fundamental aim of Fairtrade is to change the way trade works through better prices, decent working conditions and a fair deal for farmers and workers in developing countries. It also ensures these farmers get an equal say in every trading deal.
The County Council promotes a number of initiatives such as ensuring that Fairtrade tea and coffee is available in its schools and staff restaurants, together with the provision of education packs to local communities.
It also collaborates with the local Fairtrade Steering Group to promote Fairtrade amongst local businesses, commercial and other organisations, including shops and cafes.
The county will continue to build on its achievements and take the campaign further.
Jeremy Hunt, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources, said: “This is excellent news and a due reflection of the hard work put in by the Fairtrade West Sussex group. The County Council will continue to promote Fairtrade initiatives and products to ensure more residents are aware of Fairtrade and the benefits of it.”
Sue Joy, convenor of Fairtrade West Sussex said: "We are delighted that the Fairtrade Foundation has agreed to Fairtrade County designation. We look forward to working in close partnership with West Sussex County Council in the future to ensure that it is known throughout the county at every level."
Note to editors:
The Fairtrade Foundation is an independent certification body which licenses the use of the FAIRTRADE Mark on products which meet international Fairtrade standards. This independent consumer label appears on products to show that disadvantaged producers are getting a better deal from trade.
Over 5,000 products have been licensed to carry the FAIRTRADE Mark including coffee, tea, herbal teas, chocolate, cocoa, sugar, bananas, lychees, coconuts, dried fruit, juices, smoothies, biscuits, cakes & snacks, honey, jams & preserves, chutney & sauces, rice, quinoa, herbs & spices, seeds, nuts & nut oil, wines, beers, rum, confectionery, muesli, cereal bars, yoghurt, ice-cream, flowers, sports balls, sugar body scrub and cotton products (including clothing, homeware, cloth toys and cotton wool), olive oil, gold, silver and platinum.