MEP Linda McAvan backs Immingham's plan to become Fairtrade Town
A TOP European MP has thrown her weight behind Immingham's campaign to become a Fairtrade Town – and you can't say fairer than that.
Linda McAvan, Labour MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber and chairman of the European Parliament Fairtrade Working Group, has backed Immingham's plan to submit their bid to become a Fairtrade Town, in February, 2014.
Fairtrade status would be testament to the fact consumers and businesses choose products which are ethically sourced and farmers in poor countries are given a good price for the produce.
Mrs McAvan chairs the European Parliament's Fairtrade Working Group, which makes her one of the leading authorities on this issue in world politics.
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She told the Telegraph: "I have had the opportunity to visit Fairtrade producers in developing countries like Ghana and have seen the positive impact that towns like Immingham embracing Fairtrade has on some of the poorest people in these countries.
"I am delighted to support Immingham's campaign to become a Fairtrade town."
Thomas Horton, 20, started the campaign in 2010 with the simple act of buying 300 Fairtrade Cadbury's chocolate bars and selling them to his fellow pupils at Oasis Academy Immingham.
He then sent the empty wrappers to Nestlé in an attempt to get them to buy Fairtrade chocolate beans, too.
Support for Fairtrade has been steadily gaining steam ever since.
Mr Horton said: "You know you are doing something right when someone like Linda McAvan backs your campaign – she has talked to us before and is very knowledgeable about the subject.
"However, the real reward is when you are in the supermarket and you hear parents telling their children to pick up the more expensive jar of coffee with the Fairtrade logo on it."
This month, Oasis Academy Immingham held a special event for local dignitaries and businessmen to mark the fact it was exactly one year until Immingham formally submits its Fairtrade bid. Councillor Mike Burton (Lab, Immingham), Mayor of North East Lincolnshire and Neil Castle, Mayor of Immingham attended, as well as businessmen from the area.
Mr Horton added: "We want people to realise that as well as benefits for farmers, there could be benefits to your company for buying Fairtrade as it improves public image."