A special schools’ bake-off event has been held to celebrate Fairtrade Borough status for Causeway Coast and Glens.
The achievement follows years of effort from Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, working alongside local partners including businesses, schools, churches and community groups.
The award, a dual accreditation from the UK Fairtrade Foundation and Fairtrade Ireland, follows on from previous accreditation for Ballycastle, Ballymoney, Coleraine, Limavady, Portrush, Portstewart and Rathlin Island.
The Bake-Off was held to mark Fairtrade Fortnight and was open to all Primary 6 and Year 10 pupils. It challenged young bakers to use Fairtrade ingredients like chocolate, cocoa, sugar, icing sugar and bananas to make a tasty selection of tray bakes, cakes or buns.
At the grand final held in Cloonavin, judges declared Poppy from Limavady High School as the Senior Winner with Yasmin from Ballykelly Primary School winning the Junior section based on a number of criteria including the number of Fairtrade ingredients used, taste and overall presentation.
The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council Councillor Sean Bateson said: “We are very proud that Causeway Coast and Glens has been awarded Fairtrade Borough status. The Council and Fairtrade Steering Committee have made great efforts to increase the number of outlets who provide Fairtrade options locally and to encourage more people to choose Fairtrade. Our Bake-Off competition proved very popular and allowed us to showcase the range and quality of products which are available to local consumers. I would like to thank all our local schools who took part and contributed to the success of this initiative. Well done to all our young participants, and I hope they will continue to make Fairtrade choices in the future.”
Fiona Watters, Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council Fairtrade Group member added: “We wanted to raise awareness of Fairtrade products and encourage their use among local school children and their families. Children in schools across the Borough took on the challenge by researching the Fairtrade campaign, recipes and ingredients and made the most delicious Fairtrade cakes and buns. Everyone had a lot of fun getting creative in the kitchen while learning more about Fairtrade.”
Consul General Dr Christopher Stange, Secretariat of the All Party Group on Fairtrade said: “Nine of our eleven council areas in Northern Ireland have achieved Fairtrade status while the remaining two Councils are currently working towards the status. The unified role that society plays here needs to be commended. Local action is making a real difference for marginalised developing world producers.”
The Bake-Off event was attended by Luis Miguel Garcia, a member of the Anserma Fairtrade Coffee Co-operative from Colombia and Lucy Geraty, Fairtrade Ireland Project and Support Officer who took part in the judging panel.
Fairtrade is a simple way to make a difference to the lives of the people who grow the things we all consume on a daily basis. It provides better prices, decent working conditions, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. To find Fairtrade products in your local shop look out for the distinctive Fairtrade Mark or check if your local café or restaurant displays a “We stock Fairtrade” sticker or poster.
When you buy Fairtrade products you are ensuring that thousands of producers in 57 poor and developing countries are paid a fair price and you’re supporting third world workers to build classrooms, employ nurses, educate their children and invest in a better life.