Commons Champion Ruffley to Lead Bury St Edmunds Fair Trade Town Bid

Tuesday, 11 November, 2003

David Ruffley MP and the Reverend Jonathan Ford are leading the campaign to make Bury St Edmunds a Fair Trade Town. David's Treasury Select Committee work in Parliament- where he cross examines the chiefs of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund- has led him to take this local campaigning role.

David is now lobbying St Edmundsbury Borough Council to go ahead with the initiative.

David Ruffley and Jonathan Ford will be at Just Traid in St John's Centre, St John's Street, Bury St Edmunds at 1.30 p.m. on Friday, 28 November to highlight the value of the Fair Trade Town Initiative to Bury. Press and photographers welcome.

Jonathan Ford will be making a presentation to the Cabinet of St Edmundsbury Borough Council on Wednesday 10 December when he will be emphasising what is required from the Council to enable Bury to become a Fair Trade Town.

David said: 'The purpose of a Fair Trade Town is to contribute to the Fairtrade Foundation's aim of tackling poverty by enabling disadvantaged producers from poor countries to receive a better deal through encouraging support for the FAIRTRADE Mark.

For Bury St Edmunds to become a Fair Trade Town five goals must be achieved:

• St Edmundsbury Borough Council must pass a resolution supporting Fairtrade and agree to serve Fairtrade coffee and tea at its meetings and in its offices and canteens.

• A range of at least two Fairtrade products are readily available in the area's shops. Fairtrade products are served in local cafes/catering establishments.

• Fairtrade products are used by a number of local workplaces and community organisations.

• A local Fairtrade steering group is convened to ensure continued commitment to its Fairtrade Town status.

• Attract media coverage and popular support for the campaign.

The Fair Trade Town Initiative has my full support. There is strong support for the whole Fair Trade movement in Bury St Edmunds and making Bury a Fair Trade Town will be welcomed by local residents. The large turnout at the Trade Justice Lobby in the town in June demonstrates that local people want to support producers in third world countries. My work on the House of Commons Treasury Select Committee and my meetings with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund will, I believe, assist our campaign to persuade the Borough Council.'