Fairtrade in Ipswich
What we have done
Ipswich Borough Council is a supporter of Fairtrade and agreed in 2005 to pursue the goal of securing Fairtrade Town status. An open meeting was arranged later that year to take the Council's idea/vision further. More than 20 people formed a voluntary steering group to push forward Fairtrade Town status.
During Fairtrade Fortnight in February 2008, Ipswich acheived its aim and was granted Fairtrade Status.
The purpose of a Fairtrade Town is to contribute to the Fairtrade Foundation's aim of tackling poverty across the globe by enabling disadvantaged producers from poor countries to receive a better deal through encouraging support for the Fairtrade Mark.
But the history of Fairtrade in Ipswich goes back further. Traidcraft, one of the earliest fair trade companies, was set up in 1979 and sold goods, mainly crafts, by mail order. Fairtrade began to have a more permanent place in Ipswich in 1991 when a group of people, overwhelmed by the number mail order boxes, gratefully accepted the offer of a room in Christ Church, Tacket Street from which to sell the goods.
It built up gradually, from two hours a day, before moving to a "proper shop" in 1996 on Orwell Place, open six days a week 09.30 to 16.30.
After the 2005 Council decision, the Council collated a list of the retailers/catering establishments and other organisations in Ipswich that offer Fairtrade goods for sale or were using Fairtrade regularly as part of their activities.
Membership of the steering group was drawn from those who initially attended the open meeting in October but anyone is welcome to join. The steering group is made up of representatives of a variety of organisations and also individuals. Further information about the Steering Group is available on the page below.
Where to find Fairtrade goods in Ipswich
While the Fairtrade Shop carries a selection of fairtrade crafts, jewellery and food that cannot be found elsewhere in Ipswich, fairtrade coffee has over the years become available in nearly every supermarket and many speciality coffee shops as well.
Instead of the one or two coffees of those early days, there is a wide range of coffees, instant, ground and beans, to suit every taste. Fairtrade tea, chocolate, fruit and a whole range of other products have also become more widely available. The Co-op, in particular, has launched a wide range of fairtrade products on its own brand label. While out shopping you can call into a coffee shop for a cup of fairtrade coffee and online there is an even wider choice of fairtrade goods.
Last year the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich became a fairtrade diocese, with many Anglican churches signing up to serve fairtrade tea and coffee. Other churches too, as well as schools, community groups, businesses and offices have begun to embrace fairtrade as a sustainable way of life.
The Ipswich Fairtrade Directory includes details of places in Ipswich selling and serving fairtrade products.
Last Updated: Friday 7th August 2009