Hadrian's Wall declared World's first Fairtrade World Heritage Site Zone

by Search Gate staff. Published Wed 24 Feb 2010 19:39
Year-long campaign wins world first accolade

Hadrian’s Wall Heritage group and local businesses are celebrating after successfully campaigning to make Hadrian’s Wall Country the World’s first Fairtrade World Heritage Site Zone.

The Hadrian’s Wall Fairtrade Group launched the campaign in February 2009 to encourage more businesses from the World Heritage Site to support the use of Fairtrade products.

In order to be given Fairtrade status, the group had to show that the region has made a commitment to supporting Fairtrade and using products with the FAIRTRADE Mark.

There are now over 100 businesses and 81 individual supporters of the Hadrian’s Wall Fairtrade campaign, including people from Britain, Ireland, India, Italy and Spain.

Lauren Harrison, Chair of the Fairtrade Hadrian's Wall group, says: “We’re absolutely delighted that Hadrian's Wall has been declared the first World Heritage Site, National Trail and cross-country zone to get Fairtrade status. It has been a lot of work but it has definitely all been worth it.

“Hopefully, with the strong tradition of Fairtrade in Cumbria and North East England, this achievement will help us attract new visitors to this beautiful and iconic region.”

Hadrian’s Wall Heritage Ltd, which runs the Hadrian’s Wall Locally Produced scheme, also backed the Fairtrade campaign. The Locally Produced scheme already attracts a number of local producers and retailers that promote best practice in food production and its impact on the environment.

Hadrian’s Wall Heritage Ltd was set up in 2006 to help look after, protect and conserve the World Heritage Site, as well as to enhance the quality of the visitor experience and increase the Wall’s contribution to the local and regional economy through sustainable tourism.

Julie Sloan, Sustainable Development Officer at Hadrian’s Wall Heritage Ltd, said: “This is great news for Hadrian’s Wall Country. We’ve been a key supporter of the Hadrian’s Wall Fairtrade campaign since the beginning and congratulate the group for their efforts.

“Following on from the success of the Hadrian’s Wall Locally Produced scheme, Fairtrade status for Hadrian’s Wall Country will help to enhance our reputation as a destination that celebrates and encourages sustainable development in one of England’s most unique landscapes.”

The Hadrian’s Wall Fairtrade Group has representatives from each of the Fairtrade towns, including Carlisle, Brampton, Hexham and Newcastle; as well as businesses from Haltwhistle, Hadrian’s Wall Heritage Ltd and Newcastle City Council.

Lorna Strong, Owner of the Carlisle World Shop and member of Carlisle Fairtrade, said: “On behalf of Carlisle Fairtrade, I would like to offer warm congratulations to all who have been involved in Hadrian's Wall being the first World Heritage Site in the world to get Fairtrade status. We commend their vision. This achievement is a great example of a large number of agencies working together.

“Carlisle World Shop has been committed to promoting FAIRTRADE Mark cotton garments for five years. The shop logo of a cotton boll reflects this commitment.”

Fairtrade provides a fair and stable price to producers in developing countries. On top of this, a premium is paid to producer groups to invest in their businesses and communities as they see fit, for example, clean drinking water projects, new schools and health centres.

Hadrian’s Wall Country covers an area 10 miles on either side of the World Heritage Site all the way from South Shields in North East England to Bowness-on-Solway in Cumbria and down the coast to Ravenglass.

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