Volunteers aim to transform Tonbridge into a Fairtrade Town

    ALL IS FAIR: Fairtrade produce sold by St Andrews Church, Paddock Wood

    EFFORTS to turn Tonbridge into a Fairtrade Town were ‘kick-started’ on the weekend, as residents gathered to discuss the ethical trading scheme.

    Saturday’s event, at Forsyth Hall in Bradford Street, featured a talk from Richard Anstead, the Managing Director of Twin Trading – a group which support smallholder farmers – followed by a speech from the Chair of Tonbridge Town Team, Howard Porter.

    Both encouraged people to buy products which bore the Fairtrade brand, and emphasised the big impact they have on small producers and their communities.

    The Fairtrade Foundation is a registered charity which works to help small-scale producers receive a fair price for their goods. They also campaign for big brands to sign up to the scheme. A portion of the extra money paid by consumers of Fairtrade goes toward investing in their community.

    Mr Porter said: “We are looking at the positive things we can do in the town. Already, there is the Tonbridge Farmers’ Market, the largest in Kent, which puts shoppers directly into contact with producers.

    “It is that kind of ethos which Fairtrade promotes on a global basis. It gives producers more power to get a fair price for their goods, and there are plans for Tonbridge to become a Fairtrade town.”