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Spreading the word for Fairtrade Fortnight

SECOND-class pupils at CBS in Ennis helped to spread the Fairtrade message across the globe this week. Fairtrade Fortnight continues throughout the town until March 13, with a host of events planned to celebrate.
Ennis CBS pupils Amy Daniels, Robert McNamara and Sophia Doran finding Fairtrade places on the globe with Councillor Mary Howard during a Skype link to various schools in Europe to promote their Fairtrade projects in the school. 	Photograph John Kelly
On Tuesday, the second-class pupils at CBS used Skype to speak to other pupils in schools in France and Romania and showcase the benefits of Fairtrade.
They decorated special Fairtrade bunting with slogans including ‘Fair Price 4 Fair Product’ and they encouraged their friends abroad to share in the Fairtrade ethos and look for the Fairtrade logo.
Mairead Sheedy of Ennis Fairtrade said, “The children at CBS did a wonderful job at spreading the message. They obviously did a lot of research into Fairtrade and the bunting looked wonderful. This is just one of many events that are happening around Ennis, which has been a Fairtrade town for the past number of years.
“The message for this year’s fortnight is Show Off Your Label and we are encouraging any businesses that are selling Fairtrade products to make sure they promote it. By getting the word out there we can make a difference.”
Already the Fairtrade committee hosted a day of music in Brogan’s and there are more plans ahead, including a visit to Coláiste Muire this Thursday and Friday.
Councillor Johnny Flynn, a member of the Fairtrade committee, said sales are continuing to grow in Ireland. In 2010, consumer spending on Fairtrade-certified products grew by 17%, from €118 million in 2009 to €138m in 2010. 
Ireland now has one of the highest per capita spends on Fairtrade-certified products anywhere in the world.
“While Fairtrade products are growing in popularity, we still need to get the message out there to support them. Ireland has a unique connection with the spirit of Fairtrade because of our colonial past.
“Also, with Ennis being a Fairtrade town we would like to see flags at the entrance to the town showcasing that fact, which would have community benefits and economic benefits,” he commented.

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