Agenda item


            The Committee considered the following report:


“1.0     Purpose of Report or Summary of Main Issues


1.1       The purpose of this report is to update and seek approval from Members for the installation of new ‘Belfast is a Fairtrade City’ signage at various locations across the city and to update members on the planned actions of the Belfast Fairtrade Steering Group to mark World Fairtrade Day on Saturday 14th May.


2.0       Recommendations


2.1       The Committee is asked to approve the installation of the ‘Belfast is a Fairtrade City’ signage and to note the update for the Belfast Fairtrade Steering Groups plans to mark World Fairtrade Day on Saturday 14th May.


3.0       Main report


3.1       Belfast has held the Fairtrade City status from the UK Fairtrade Foundation since 2005 and was the first city to gain dual Fairtrade accreditation when receiving Fairtrade City status from Fairtrade Ireland also in 2006. 


3.2       The City & Organisational Strategy Department leads the maintenance of Belfast’s Fairtrade City status. The department supports the Belfast Fairtrade Steering Group, a group co-Chaired by Council Members, Cllr Donal Lyons and Cllr Ross McMullan with representation from Council and the business, voluntary and community sectors. The Steering Group is responsible for maintaining Belfast’s Fairtrade City status through continued promotion and awareness of Fairtrade. The group is for all those interested in trade justice and international development through Fairtrade and membership is open to the public. The Group meets approximately every two months to discuss ways to advance Fairtrade in Belfast and to support group members tin achieving this.


3.3       ‘Belfast is a Fairtrade City’ signage


            Fairtrade City status is conferred by the Fairtrade Foundation on a biennial basis. It is awarded after the completion of a comprehensive audit of Fairtrade outlets in the city, and after undertaking considerable marketing and promotional activities by the Belfast Fairtrade Steering Group. Belfast was granted this city status in 2005 and biannually since. The Fairtrade certificates awarded are displayed in the Lord Mayors office.


3.4       The marketing and promotion of Fairtrade activity in the city is key to retaining Fairtrade City status. The Fairtrade Foundation recommend the display of one of the approved formats or logo’s for each Fairtrade Town, City or Borough that has achieved this accolade. This is standard practice across the UK and Ireland and has been adopted in Northern Ireland by seven other Local Authorities with two more progressing on this action and will be joined soon after by the final Council authority in NI to receive Fairtrade status once application is approved in the coming weeks. 


3.5       Fairtrade City signage erected in a prominent place recognises the City’s endeavours in promoting the global campaign of increasing Fairtrade products. Fairtrade is the gold standard of ethical labelling and can only appear on products from the developing world. Fairtrade is a local ethical consumerism led by cross community, public/private sector demand and statutory obligations: UN Sustainable Development Goals, which falls to each council under sustainability. Fairtrade alleviates poverty, tackles global issues and all forms of exploitation (child labour, trafficking), environmental and social considerations, including climate change. Fairtrade has an international dimension and wider implication for the most disadvantaged vulnerable small-scale producers world-wide, that produce the tropical commodities that are not able to be grown locally. This campaign is supported by the City Council who host the Belfast Fairtrade Steering Group and Fairtrade Belfast webpage.


3.6       Following a request from the Belfast Fairtrade Steering Group, Belfast City Council officers agreed to conduct a review of Council sites to host Fairtrade city signage. This review has been completed and approval is sought from this Committee for the following installations:


            ‘Belfast is a Fairtrade City’ signage (See Appendix one)


·        A3 portrait signs for park display stands in north, south, east and west of the city.

·        2 x A1 landscape signs for St George’s Market

·        2 x A2 landscape signs for 2 Royal Avenue


3.7       Members are asked to consider this proposal by the Belfast Fairtrade Steering Group to erect ‘Belfast is a Fairtrade City’ signage at locations outlined above for launch on World Fairtrade Day on Saturday 14th May,


            World Fairtrade Day – Saturday 14th May


            The Belfast Fairtrade Steering Group intend to mark World Fairtrade Day on Saturday 14th May with the following actions:


3.8       Signage


            Pending Committee approval of the above ‘Belfast is a Fairtrade City’ signage request, there are plans for a press release and photo call with Steering Group members to announce this installation with circulation across the multiple Belfast City Council social media platforms.


3.9       Mesh Banner


            There will be a temporary mesh banner placed at City Hall railings for Fairtrade Day weekend. This can be removed upon conclusion of the weekend and stored for future use during key Fairtrade calendar events such as Fairtrade Fortnight or Fairtrade Day.


3.10     Pop-Up Stands


            A number of pop-up stands have been created and will be placed inside City Hall visitor areas over the Fairtrade Day weekend to raise awareness of the campaign and Belfast’s commitment to Fairtrade. These can be used again during future Fairtrade events.


3.11     Fairtrade Materials Distribution


            Councils is planning to create posters, cards or window stickers to distribute to Fairtrade outlets showing the ‘Belfast is a Fairtrade City’ artwork. This will have the effect of increasing the idea of shared ownership and using appropriate venues across the city to help spread the word.


3.12     Lighting


            City Hall will be illuminated green, blue and black, the colours of the Fairtrade Foundation logo for Fairtrade Day on the evening of Saturday 14th May.


3.13     City Matters


            There are plans for the inclusion of a Fairtrade educational piece in the next edition of City Matters using ‘Belfast is a Fairtrade City’ branding along with a call-to-action to seek new Belfast Fairtrade Steering Group members.


3.14     Asset library


            Various Communications Assets with the new ‘Belfast is a Fairtrade City’ logo have been designed. These graphics can be used on the branding/web/social content during the promotion of Fairtrade Day but also for future Fairtrade marketing and communications.


3.15     BCC Fairtrade Hamper Staff Giveaway


            A hamper containing multiple Fairtrade branded food and drinks items will be a featured as part of a BCC staff giveaway along with accompanying Fairtrade article on Interlink. All hamper items have been sourced within Belfast with inclusion of more than 50% of the budget for the hamper contents spent on items produced by Belfast based SME’s.


3.16     BCC Fairtrade Resources


            An order has been placed with the Fairtrade Foundation by Council for new resource materials, posters, information leaflets etc. These will be displayed in Staff and Visitor areas across multiple Council sites in order to raise awareness among staff and visitors of the importance of the Fairtrade campaign.


4.0       Financial and Resource Implications


4.1       Financial


            The Fairtrade signage will be created by the Council’s in-house Reprographics Team at nominal cost to Belfast City Council.


4.2       Resource


            Staff time will be required from Officers in the City & Organisational Strategy Department, City & Neighbourhood Services and Physical Programmes Department in order to undertake the signage installation.



5.0       Equality or Good Relations Implications/

            Rural Needs Implications


5.1       None.”


The Committee noted the contents of the report and approved the installation of ‘Belfast Is a Fairtrade City’ signage.


Supporting documents: