Strictly Fairtrade tea dance the afternoon away!

By on 18/02/2010 in News

Citizens of Birmingham are being invited to twist, jive, rumba or waltz the day away in Victoria Square on February 27 as part of this year's Fairtrade Fortnight 2010 (February 22-March 7).

The fun-filled Strictly Fairtrade Tea Dance event, set to run from 10am until 4pm, is being staged by Birmingham City Council and will feature music and entertainment from local performers, and a “Strictly Fair and Ethical” market containing products from around the world.

It will also give citizens the chance to take part in the Big Swap Pledge* - where people can exchange their usual brand of a produce for one from a Fairtrade-designated firm.

The event in Birmingham will be one of six big events also happening across the UK in Cardiff, Dundee, London, Liverpool and Newcastle, as well as smaller events across the nations.

Cllr Paul Tilsley, Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council, and the authority's Fairtrade champion, said: “'We all love tea as it's the nation's favourite brew and the aim of the event is for everyone to have fun, to have a dance whatever your age or ability, and to share a cuppa.

“But the event also has a serious message. Fairtrade tea still represents only ten per cent of the UK market so we are calling on everyone to swap their cuppa to Fairtrade tea or ask their workplace, school, shops or local cafés to make the switch to ensure that tea producers and workers in the developing world get a fairer deal.

“We achieved Fairtrade City designation some five years ago, and the council has a strong commitment to buying Fairtrade where it can, but it is vital that everyone continues to play their part to give people a better deal around the world.”

The Fairtrade Foundation is planning to launch a tea paper ahead of the tea dances nationally which takes a look at the tea industry and puts the case forward for why tea companies and consumers should switch to Fairtrade.

Harriet Lamb, Executive Director of the Fairtrade Foundation says: 'Fairtrade guarantees that small holder tea producer organisations receive a fair and stable price for their products that covers production costs and enables them to support their families.

“The Fairtrade premium enables tea farmers and workers to invest in a better future for themselves and their communities. Fairtrade standards for tea workers on tea plantations seek to improve their representation as well as ensure minimum social, environmental and economic standards.”

This year's Fairtrade Fortnight, the annual nationwide campaign to promote awareness of Fairtrade and encourage people to buy products which carry the FAIRTRADE Mark in order to help farmers in developing countries, is themed The Big Swap.

The city council is asking people to swap one or more of their usual shopping basket items for Fairtrade and to log swaps online during Fairtrade Fortnight at . Swaps will be totted up on a special online swap-o-meter. The aim is to get people in Britain to make one million and one swaps over the two-week period and change the lives of millions of farmers around the world.


Notes to editors

1. Today over 4,500 retail and catering products have been licensed to carry the FAIRTRADE Mark including coffee, tea, herbal teas, chocolate, cocoa, sugar, bananas, grapes, pineapples, mangoes, avocados, apples, pears, plums, grapefruit, lemons, oranges, satsumas, clementines, mandarins, lychees, coconuts, dried fruit, juices, smoothies, biscuits, cakes & snacks, honey, jams & preserves, chutney & sauces, olive oil, rice, quinoa, herbs &  spices, seeds, nuts & nut oil, wines, beers, rum, confectionary, muesli, cereal bars, yoghurt, ice-cream, flowers, sports balls, sugar body scrub, plus cotton products including clothing, homeware, cloth toys and cotton wool.

2. The FAIRTRADE Mark is a certification mark and a registered trademark of Fairtrade Labelling Organisations International (FLO) of which the Fairtrade Foundation is the UK member. The Fairtrade Foundation is an independent certification body which licenses the use of the FAIRTRADE Mark on products which meet international Fairtrade standards. This independent consumer label appears on products as a guarantee that disadvantaged producers are getting a better deal. Today, more than 7 million people – farmers, workers and their families – across 59 developing countries benefit from the international Fairtrade system.

3. Action guides can be downloaded from

4. Today there are over 450 Fairtrade Towns, 100 Fairtrade Universities & Colleges, over 5,000 Faith Groups and more than 3,000 schools registered with the Fairtrade Foundation.

5. For details on Fairtrade activity in Birmingham, please visit


For further information contact Kris Kowalewski on 0121 303 3621

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