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Press release - Walking the Fair Trade Way

Updated: May 15, 2022

Fair Trade Walk Press Release
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A group of campaigners sets off from Garstang - the World's First Fair Trade Town - on the morning of Friday 27 May. To see them off will be the Mayor and Town Crier of Garstang. As our intrepid walkers make their way via Lancaster, Arnside, Kendal, Bowness on Windermere, Grasmere and arrive into Keswick on Wednesday 1 June, we will meet local groups of soroptimists, fair trade campaigners and supporters. There's so much to explain about what we want to do with Chocolate Has A Name and we love to talk about our plans.

If you can, please download our press release above and share with your networks.

The route map is listed on the Long Distance Paths website

If you want to join us you can meet at the following points:

Friday 27 May 9am Garstang High Street car park

Saturday 28 May 9am Lancaster Railway station

Sunday 29 May 9am Arnside railway station

Monday 30 May 9am Junction of New Road and Bridge Street, Kendal next to the River Kent

Tuesday 31 May 9am Bowness Pier, Promenade, Bowness on Windermere

Tuesday 31 May 1pm Chesters Cafe, Skelwith Bridge

Wednesday 1 June 9am The Inn at Grasmere, Red Lion Square, Grasmere

Joanna will be wearing a Fairtrade T shirt so you should be able to spot her. Her number is 0791 354 8817.

Chocolate has a name is an initiative from Yorkshire based social enterprise Africaniwa and the Fairtrade National Campaigner Committee. The aim is to introduce chocolate making workshops to schools in the cocoa growing areas of West Africa.

70% of the chocolate we buy is grown in West Africa - mostly Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire. Typically cocoa farmers earn just 74p a day for the back breaking work they do. In contrast a seller on the Kantamanto market in Accra typically earns around £5 a day. Because of this the children of cocoa farmers often leave their family farms to find better paid employment in the city, often living in slum conditions. As a result the average cocoa farmer is now over 50. Chocolate is a $100 billion dollar industry but a tiny proportion of this trickles down to the farmers. Most of the value is in turning cocoa beans into chocolate bars. While there are great chocolate makers in Ghana, like Deko Craft who is our partner in this project, too often the beans leave the shores of West Africa and the value is added elsewhere. Our project aims to change that narrative - making sure the wealth and enjoyment of chocolate is shared more equally with the people who grow cocoa.

The plan is to make chocolate making part of the vocational curriculum for the children of cocoa farmers. They will learn about the history, geography, economics and nutritional properties of chocolate - the crop that is so important to the economy that it's featured on the Ghanaian currency. This will encourage more children to stay in school - early marriage and teenage pregnancy are big risks in these areas - and to imagine a future for themselves as chocolate entrepreneurs. We are piloting it in Tarkwa Breman girls school with the aim to roll it out to other schools. Ultimately we hope to make it self-sustaining through eco-tourism, sale of locally made crafts and partnerships with chocolate makers.

We have already raised £3,500 towards the £10,000 we need for the pilot project.

Saturday 14 May is World Fair Trade Day and fair trade campaigners are key to the success of our project - which is why our walk starts in the first Fair Trade Town in the world, Garstang. Our second workshop will be built in New Koforidua, the first Fair Trade Town in Africa and ultimately we plan a workshop on wheels which can travel around schools in remote rural areas. We are supported by the team in Media PA - the first Fair Trade Town in the Americas, who will be taking par in their own walk from Media to Philadelphia at the same time. This completes the "Fair Trade Triangle" - a response to the original "slave trade triangle" which saw enslaved people taken from Africa to the Americas and the cotton, bananas and sugar they were forced to grow came back to the UK to complete the triangle.

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