Solihull gears up for Fairtrade Fortnight


Ahead of Fairtrade Fortnight, schools in Solihull have been busy creating handmade sculptures and artwork for this year’s theme of ‘Choose the World you Want’. From Saturday 19 February to Sunday 6 March, the artwork will be on display in well-known shops in Solihull Town Centre. Everyone is invited to take part and complete the Fairtrade quiz which is available to download from the Council website.

First established in 1992, the Fairtrade Mark is a certification that aims to ensure a set of standards are met in production and supply of a product. For farmers and workers, Fairtrade means workers’ rights, safer working conditions and fairer pay. For shoppers it means high quality, ethically produced products. Solihull was awarded Fairtrade Borough status in 2010, which was renewed in 2018.

Each year at the end of February and beginning of March, Fairtrade Fortnight takes place across the UK and several other countries. The chief aim of the event is to spread awareness of the Fairtrade movement and Fairtrade products. It encourages consumers to reflect on their own shopping choices and consider the ethical and environmental implications of the products they purchase.

This year, the theme ‘Choose the World you Want’ shines a light on the communities overseas on the frontline of the climate crisis. The ongoing climate crisis remains the biggest threat to the livelihoods of millions of small-scale farmers and agricultural workers in low-income countries worldwide.

To mark the occasion in the borough, the ‘Solihull Fairtrade Trail’ is once again taking place. With over 20 pieces of handmade artwork and sculptures, displayed in 16 locations throughout the town centre, it promises to be one of the biggest local Fairtrade awareness events to date. Alongside admiring the artwork and their important messages, you can expand your Fairtrade knowledge by completing the Fairtrade quiz. To complete the quiz, you need to visit all 16 locations and learn the answers by searching the shop windows. Everything you need to take part is available online, and question sheets will be available in the children’s library at the CORE during the event. Don’t forget to share your progress with the hashtag #FairtradeSolihull on social media!

Councillor Andy Mackiewicz, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Climate Change, Planning & Housing, said:

“It’s fantastic to see so many schools in Solihull getting involved in Fairtrade Fortnight this year. To have over 20 unique pieces of artwork representing the theme ‘Choose the World you Want’ showcases the leadership of young people when it comes to learning more about Fairtrade values and raising awareness amongst the general public.

“We’re proud to have been a Fairtrade borough since 2010 and remain committed to showing our support for the farmers behind our food, whose livelihoods are most impacted by the climate crisis. Next time you’re out for a coffee with friends or getting the weekly groceries, see if you can spot the iconic Fairtrade Mark. Good luck to all those taking part in the Solihull Fairtrade Trail over the next couple of weeks!”

Sarah Brazier, Campaigns Manager at the Fairtrade Foundation, said:

“The farmers and workers who grow our food need to be able to adapt to new ways of farming. We have another chance at COP27 this year for world leaders to tackle the climate crisis and secure finance, fast.

‘We hope that joining the festival will encourage support for Fairtrade from the British public and British businesses, who will be inspired to choose Fairtrade and choose the world they want to see – a world where climate justice is a reality for all.”