Thurles - Ireland’s Most Creative Fairtrade Town
The Thurles Fairtrade group is delighted to announce that Thurles has received renewed Fairtrade status, following an end-of year report submitted in late 2009. This follows the award to Thurles as ‘Ireland’s most creative Fairtrade Town’. The letter (click here to download pdf) was received from Fairtrade Mark Ireland on 18 January and recognises the great progress the Fairtrade campaign has made in the town.The Thurles group would like to express appreciation to all the retailers, caterers, schools, clubs, organisations and individuals who support the campaign by using and promoting Fairtrade products. Thank you all!
Thurles was first awarded Ireland’s Most Creative Fairtrade Town in October 2007. The award was made by Michael Kit, Minister of State at the Dept of Foreign Affairs at a reception in Dublin Castle. In making the decision, Fairtrade Mark Ireland decided to select Thurles due to the number, variety and imaginative nature of the events run by the Thurles Fairtrade Town Committee. We were also close runners-up to Kinsale who won the overall award for Best Fairtrade Town.
Thurles Fairtrade Town Committee
Thurles was awarded Fairtrade Town status in December 2005 following an eighteen- month campaign supported by many volunteers. There are 12 members of the steering group, which is chaired by the current Mayor of Thurles. The steering group meets every two months and has adopted the following mission statement in June 2007 -
"The mission of the Thurles Fairtrade Town Committee is to promote Thurles as a Fairtrade Town, to promote awareness and understanding of Fairtrade principles and to encourage purchase of Fairtrade products. By organising a wide range of promotional activities throughout the year, the Committee offers information and encouragement in order to motivate schools, businesses, retailers, organisations and the general public to choose Fairtrade products."
Fairtrade in Shops
Eleven Thurles retailers stock over 40 Fairtrade brands (from Alara to Tropical Wholefoods) and sell approx 30 product lines (from Beans to Tissues). Consumers can choose from a wide selection of Fairtrade products including 10 chocolate brands, 9 coffee brands, 6 tea brands, 6 brands of fruit juices, 3 brands of sugar plus a variety of bananas, pastas, jams, cocoa, biscuits and snacks. They can also buy Fairtrade Beans, Chutney, Curry Paste, Dried fruits, Flapjacks, Herbs, Ice cream, Muesli, Nuts, Spices and Sweets.
Fairtrade in Restaurants
Six catering outlets in Thurles serve Fairtrade coffee and tea exclusively: Hayes Hotel, St. Patrick’s College canteen, Tara Restaurant, The Runner Bean, LIT Tipperary canteen.
Fairtrade in Business
Dew Valley Foods Ltd is our flagship business since 2005 and they estimate that the staff drink 1500 cups of Fairtrade tea every week. Nine other businesses in town serve Fairtrade tea and coffee in their office canteens.
Fairtrade in Schools
The level of awareness amonst students in Thurles about Fairtrade issues is very high and the challenge is to find new angles and present new information. 10 schools in Thurles support Fairtrade in the classroom. We correspond with teachers in all schools at the start of the academic year regarding opportunities to discuss how Fairtrade could be incorporated in the relevant SPHE, CSPE and Transition year classes as well as going through the criteria to become/remain a Fairtrade school. Where possible, we arrange a date to visit to the school to meet the various classes.
Fairtrade in the Media
Every two weeks there is an article in the Tipperary Star, which keeps the reader informed and up to date on local Fairtrade activities as well as national and international Fairtrade developments.
Tipperary – Irelands First Fairtrade County
Since Sept 2006 we have also initiated the Tipperary Fairtrade County Campaign, the goal of which is for Tipperary to become Ireland’s first Fairtrade County. The steering group is offering mentoring support to 9 other towns in North and South Tipperary to enable each of them to become Fairtrade Towns. As soon as Carrick-on-Suir, Cahir, Cashel, Cloughjordan, Clonmel, Nenagh, Roscrea, Templemore and Tipperary Town have achieved Fairtrade Town status, Tipperary will be declared a Fairtrade County!
We welcome volunteers who can offer a few hours of their time every year to support Fairtrade in Thurles. For information on upcoming events please phone The Secretary on 0504 26488 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.