World Fairtrade Day Celebration Prize Winner

The Global Fairtrade Breakfast at the Thurles Farmers Market on Saturday, 14th May last, was indeed a resounding success.

Fairtrade Winners

More than 235,000 Global Fairtrade Breakfasts were served on World Fairtrade Day, this year worldwide. This represents more than twice as many as last year. The network of Fairtrade Organisations hosted thousands of events in over seventy-three countries worldwide.

Locally, traders in the Thurles Farmer’s Market, latter who operate each Saturday morning, from the grounds of Thurles Greyhound Track, offered vouchers to their customers, allowing them to sample the Fairtrade breakfast and to enter a free draw for a Fairtrade hamper.

Our picture shows Noel Kennedy of Thurles Fairtrade presenting a Fairtrade hamper to Róisín Russell, winner of this free special Fairtrade Breakfast draw, held to mark this years World Fairtrade Day. (Picture -Left to Right: Gerard O’Hara, Mary Foxton and Noel Kennedy of Thurles Fairtrade, Róisín Russell and her father Pat.)

Thurles Fairtrade committee members served a free Global Fairtrade Breakfast to over one hundred delighted people, who tucked into servings of delicious scones, breads and cakes, manufactured using Fairtrade ingredients, by the Farmers Market and by Naomi’s Café, Friar Street, Thurles, all accompanied by a choice of Fairtrade tea, coffee and orange juice.

The wide range of Fairtrade products available and used impressed all guests who participated and indeed this was the committees  goal – to demonstrate how easy it is to create a Global Fairtrade Breakfast every day, with over seventy five Fairtrade products on sale in our many retail trading establishments, all operating locally in Thurles town.


Free Breakfast To Celebrate World Fairtrade Day

Free Breakfast To Celebrate World Fairtrade Day

Thurles Fairtrade Town Committee is hosting a free Global Fairtrade Breakfast at the Farmers Market on Saturday, 14th May from 9.30-11.30am.  The breakfast will be one of thousands of events hosted by the global network of Fairtrade Organisations in seventy three countries to celebrate World Fairtrade Day. Call it breakfast or petit dejeuner or ontbijt, we can all make breakfast fair anywhere around our world by using Fair Trade Certified products.

Here in Thurles, our goal is for folks to appreciate how easy it is to create their own Global Fairtrade Breakfast every day, with easy access to over seventy five Fairtrade products in our local retailers.

To sweeten an already sweet deal, every trader in the Farmers Market will offer vouchers to their customers to sample the breakfast and enter a free draw for a Fairtrade hamper!

A Global Fairtrade Breakfast in Thurles is also an excellent opportunity to raise local awareness of the importance of Fair Trade. On World Fairtrade Day, citizens around the world express their support to Fairtrade as a concrete and efficient response to poverty reduction, economic and global food crisis, as well as climate change. Fairtrade ensures sustainable conditions for production and fair terms, and advocates for a fair economic system and international trading rules.

Thurles Global Fairtrade Breakfast Menu will includes your choice of the following produce:

The classic breakfast juice, Orange, made with 100% Fairtrade oranges sourced from Cuba and Brazil.
Fairtrade Tea, fantastically full bodied and refreshing sourced from Fairtrade-certified tea estates in Africa, India and Sri Lanka.
Fairtrade Coffee, Rich and smooth using Fairtrade and organic Arabica beans.
Fairtrade Hot Chocolate, deliciously smooth and satisfying, organic too.

Fairtrade Bananas. taste great, they’re grown with organic fertilizers.

Fairtrade Banana Bread, tasty and healthy, using Fairtrade bananas and Fairtrade sugar. A great way to use overripe bananas, and baked by the Farmers Market.
Fairtrade Fruit Scones, everyone’s favourite to accompany a cup of tea, with plenty of butter and a spoonful of Fairtrade marmalade or jam. Baked by the 

Your choice of Chocolate Chip Cookies, Brownies or Queen Cakes, baked fresh here in Thurles using Fairtrade sugar, chocolate, fruit and nuts.

The World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) is the global network of Fair Trade Organizations around the planet. It represents more than 450 Fair Trade Organizations from 73 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe, North America and Pacific. WFTO’s mission is to enable producers to improve their livelihoods and communities through Fair Trade. WFTO is the global network and advocate for Fair Trade, ensuring producer voices are heard.


Thurles Fairtrade Thank Laurenz Egan

Stephen Boadi, Una Johnston, Laurenz Egan, Isaac Baidoo, Mayor John Kenehan.

Thurles Fairtrade Town Committee and Fairtrade Mark Ireland have thanked Laurenz Egan for his sterling work to promote Fairtrade in the town and its environs.

In 2004, Laurenz Egan become chair of the newly formed steering group which was set up with the objective of achieving Fairtrade Town status for Thurles.

This objective was realised in December 2005 and the steering group became a sub-committee of Thurles Town Council, with the current Mayor acting as chairperson.

In January 2006, Laurenz then took on the role as education spokesperson, to which he brought sustained enthusiasm, vision and innovation.  Thanking him warmly for his commitment to education on Fairtrade and wishing him well in all his future endeavours, they presented Laurenz with a Tipperary Crystal vase during the Producer Visit to Tipperary Institute.

Remember, if you’re free on Thursday night next, 10th March, do join Thurles Fairtrade Town Committee for their Table Quiz in Skehan’s Bar, in Liberty Square, here in Thurles.


Support Thurles Fairtrade Fortnight

Fairtrade Fortnight 2011 began in Thurles last Friday February 28th, but there’s still time to get involved.

This year the committee are asking retailers to ‘Show Off Your Label‘ and be loud and proud about what Fairtrade means to you.

The sky’s the limit when it comes to ways of showing off about Fairtrade. Whether you decorate your place of study with an inflatable Fairtrade banana, hold a public event or start stocking and selling new Fairtrade products, you’ll be expressing your passion for Fairtrade and getting people talking.

Thurles Fairtrade Fortnight Diary of Events:

Thurles Fairtrade Forthnight

Thursday 3rd March 10.30am – School Talks. Thurles Fairtrade are very excited to welcome two special guest Fairtrade cocoa farmers from Ghana.  Isaac Baido and Stephen Boadi will talk to students in Tipperary Institute and share their first hand experiences of Fairtrade and highlight the positive impact Fairtrade has made in their lives and in their community.

Thursday 3rd March 10.30 am – The Divine Chocolate Wagon comes to Tipperary Institute. The Fairtrade Divine Wagon has a chocolate fountain where you can sample some of Divine’s delicious Fairtrade chocolate. So while you sample some yummy chocolate you can learn about Fairtrade and the story of chocolate.

Saturday 5th March 9.30 am – Fairtrade will be at the Farmers Market.  Stop by our information stand and enter a raffle for a hamper packed with a fantastic selection of Fairtrade products.

Thursday 10th March 10.00 am – Fairtrade Coffee Morning. Visit Health and Harmony in Old Baker Street and Eimear O’Connell will offer you a cup of strong flavorful Fairtrade coffee while you shop from the extensive range of Fairtrade products she has in stock.

Thursday 10th March 8.30 pm – Annual Table Quiz. Enter a team of four in our famous Table Quiz in Skehans Pub, Liberty Square. Popular quiz master Tom Noone presides over a fun night of mainly general knowledge questions with a smattering of Fairtrade related questions to keep you on your toes.  There will be great prizes for the top two teams plus lots of spot prizes throughout the night. Don’t miss it!  Phone Una now on 087 – 2624154 to enter a team.

Fairtrade Fortnight is an annual event in which Fairtrade values are celebrated around Tipperary, around Ireland and around the world. Awareness raising and the promotion of Fairtrade Products to the public are the main objectives of the fortnight.

Here in Thurles, we will celebrate our 6th Fairtrade Fortnight since we became a Fairtrade Town in December 2005.

If you’d like to get involved in Fairtrade in Thurles, phone the Secretary on 087 2624154.


Tanzanian And Kenyan Fairtrade Representatives Visit Thurles

Fairtrade Delegation visits St. Patricks College Thurles

Report by Una Johnston, Thurles Fairtrade Secretary.

A major highlight of Fairtrade Fortnight , here in Thurles, was the visit yesterday to St. Patrick’s College and the Presentation Secondary School by Fairtrade coffee producer Mr Josephat Sylvand, and Mrs Hella Alikuru, Kenya, who represents plantation workers in East Africa.

The visitors were welcomed by the staff and students and by the Thurles Fairtrade committee.

Josephat Sylvand is the Assistant Export Manager at Kagera Co-operative Union Ltd.   KCU was the first exporter of organic coffee from Tanzania and is the largest supplier of organic Robusta coffee to the Fairtrade market. Josephat is a son of a coffee producer who was a committed member of KCU Ltd. By being a member of KCU and its Fairtrade practices, he has managed to educate his family, some even to university level.

Josephat himself joined KCU Ltd in 2005 as a graduate and worked as a coffee trader. At the same time he was being trained on all issues relating to coffee export and marketing. Currently he is an Assistant Export Manager, and his role includes negotiating coffee contracts and offering and receiving bids for the coffee.

KCU is made up of 124 Primary Cooperative Societies representing over 60,000 small farmers since 1988 they have been selling an increasing part of its members’ coffee under Fairtrade terms.

KCU’s mission and objective is to seek, establish and maintain favourable markets in order to improve the income and well-being of its farmers. It is a pioneer of Fairtrade in Tanzania. It has been involved in the promotion of Tanzania coffee abroad, always focused on increased sales and higher remuneration for the farmer. Through active involvement with, and direct selling into, the Fairtrade market, KCU has paid its farmers up to 100% more than generated through the commercial price. It is also involved with Export Promotion of Organic Products in Africa (EPOPA), whose objective is to promote innovative and environmentally sound farming techniques aimed at improving the well-being of the community.

Josephat told the Thurles audience that when members collect and market their coffee together, they create a fund to which deductions from coffee sales are deposited to assist members’ children in attaining education, health services and other basic needs. This chance is usually wasted when coffee is collected by private buyers, who most of the times lack a collective responsibility drive. The Fairtrade social premium has enabled our members to construct/improve roads and bridges to their crop collection centers. Also classrooms and health centers have been constructed, which cements not only the relationship within our members, but also creates a strong partnership between KCU members and the Fairtrade buyers Josephat said. With the Fairtrade minimum price, KCU members have also been able to invest into an instant coffee factory, to ensure that value is added to the coffee that is exported by the union. Josephat said that his organization currently sells 30% of its coffee on Fairtrade terms. With the support of Irish consumers, this can keep rising, ensuring that the social, economic and environmental benefits of fair-trade continue to flow to his colleagues in Tanzania.

Mrs. Hella Alikuru is the Regional Coordinator for the International Union of Food & Agricultural Workers (IUF) Nairobi, Kenya. She advises the trade unions/workers on their participation and their rights within the Fairtrade system. In East Africa, Fairtrade has mainly been involved in flowers, coffee and tea, on large plantations.

On many of these estates there are 3-7,000 people employed and the workers have to live on the estates, which are often remote and cut off from the outside world. Workers earn less than one euro per day and have to buy food, clothing and all necessities with that money. Often they do not have access to electricity or running water. Conditions are very poor in many cases. Children may go to school but often their teachers are unqualified and children are really seen as workers in training. Their poor levels of education ensure that they are locked in a cycle of poverty as they end up as estate workers. Hella worked as a trade unionist on one estate where a woman died giving childbirth and for 5 years Hella campaigned to get some maternity health services in place for the staff.

Hella is involved in Fairtrade activities as an IUF representative for the African region. Although Fairtrade schemes have existed for years on some farms, the challenge has been how to use the premium funds to benefit the workers and enhance their participation in joint employer/worker bodies. In Tanzania, the workers have formed Savings and Credit Schemes and the workers borrow the funds with no interest charged.

In Kenya, using Fairtrade premium funds, some farms have purchased vehicles for the transportation of workers and set up computer training facilities, and in Uganda the funds are mainly used for infrastructure development. For Hella, Fairtrade represents a way out of poverty for the people she represents.

As always it is wonderful to have the opportunity to meet the people from the Fairtrade front line and to hear about the difference that Fairtrade makes in people’s lives. Despite the recession, sales of Fairtrade products are growing so Irish consumers remain convinced that their purchases are making that difference.