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South West Fairtrade Business Awards 2019

Countdown’s Nick Hewer Awards South West’s Best Fair Trade Businesses

TV personality and Fairtrade Foundation Patron, Nick Hewer, has praised organisations that support Fair Trade through their business. In a speech made as host of the 2019 South West Fair Trade Business Awards, Hewer commended businesses “willing to put their money where their mouth is and use their business as a force for good”.

The awards, now in their seventh year, recognise organisations of all sorts and sizes throughout the region who sell or purchase Fair Trade certified products, and who promote Fair Trade campaigns and values through their communications.

Other organisations recognised as best in their category include Cotton Smiles, University of Bath, Create Centre, Lyons Davidson, Koolskools, Full of Beans at UWE, Natural Beverage Company and Katie Hodkinson—founder of ethical textile businesses Fairly Beautiful and Eco Bee Wrap—who was recognised for her advocacy of Fair Trade.

Fifty applicants were celebrated for their dedicated support of Fair Trade through their business, each leaving with bronze, silver and gold certificates, plus specially commissioned Bristol Blue Glass trophies for the category winners.

Local business Eco Friendly Shop www.ecofriendlyshop.co.uk , that specialises in Fairtrade, Sustainable, Organic & Plastic Free products, scooped a Gold Award for their commitment to Fair Trade, including their continued support to keep the conversation going all year regarding the importance of Fairtrade & the difference it makes to others. This has been done at events, talks & on social media, Twitter, Instagram & Facebook.

Speaking of their Award, business owner Amy Lawson of Eco Friendly Shop commented:

“We are so pleased to win this award, we’ve been supporting Fair Trade through our business from the beginning, it is a great surprise to receive this recognition—presented by the inspirational Nick Hewer.

"If we all bought Fairtrade, I believe we could all make a difference.”

As well as host Nick Hewer’s rousing speech, attendees heard from LJ Loftus from Fairtrade Foundation, and from coffee and cocoa producer, Junieth Leiva, visiting the UK from Nicaragua to advocate for Fairtrade.

Speaking with the aid of an interpreter at the ceremony, Leiva said:

“By choosing Fairtrade, you are not just helping one person, you are helping a whole community. Just by buying one product you are helping many people have a better life. Working with Fairtrade is the best thing that has happened to me in my life […] It has meant that everyone—not just me and my siblings—but the whole community has access to education and healthcare.”

The ceremony took place in the unusual setting of Arnos Vale Cemetery, final resting place of many of Bristol’s social justice heroes. It was sponsored by ethically-minded businesses Burges Salmon, Wogan Coffee, Indigo Valley and Ecoffins—whose Fair Trade certified eco-friendly coffins were an apt fit for the ceremony’s location. Destination Bristol and South Gloucestershire Council supported the planning of the event, which is spearheaded each year by Bristol Fair Trade Network CIC.