People across Hartlepool had the perfect excuse to enjoy a break as activities for Fairtrade Fortnight come to a close.
Catcote Academy held a Fairtrade coffee morning where Hartlepool Mayor Rob Cook helped judge the winners of a town-wide biscuit baking competition made with ingredients that ensure the producers abroad get a fair deal.
The theme of Fairtrade Fortnight this year has been ‘make your coffee break a fair break’, encouraging people to use Fairtrade drinks and snacks when enjoying a cuppa.
The event coincided with the announcement that Hartlepool has been granted status as an official Fairtrade Town for another two years.
Martin Green, chair of Hartlepool Fairtrade Steering Group, said: “We were proud to be the first Fairtrade Town on Teesside and to have continuously renewed our status every two years for 12 years.
“We couldn’t have done this without enthusiastic support from many organisations and individuals over the years. We would invite any interested persons or businesses to get in touch to help us to further promote Fairtrade in the town.”
A new Fairtrade Town certificate was presented at Catcote Academy’s coffee morning on Friday attended by the Mayoress and Mayoress.
Catcote took the honours for the tastiest biscuit and a selfie photo competition of people having a Fairtrade break was won by pupils from Clavering Primary School.
Catcote teacher Barry Currell said: “It was absolutely heaving and very well attended by the schools.
“We had over 30 cookie entries and the judging took a long time because there was so many.”
Hartlepool first gained Fairtrade town status in 2005 for demonstrating its commitment to promoting its principles.
The steering group has helped had a stall in Middleton Grange shopping centre for the last few days.
Adam Gardner, from the Fairtrade Foundation, said: “We’re very pleased that Hartlepool has renewed their Fairtrade status once again and laid out clear exciting goals to take Fairtrade further.
“Thanks to the ongoing support of the public and campaigners, an increasing number of farmers in developing countries are now selling their products on Fairtrade terms, bringing them a stable income, and the chance to trade their way out of poverty.”