Cllr Anne Wilson said: “I was asked by the Fairtrade Bangor committee to bring forward a motion calling on the Council to support making Bangor a Fairtrade Town. I am very pleased that the Council has endorsed our campaign. We are gaining strong momentum on this issue.
“The local Fairtrade committee includes representatives of the churches, Town Centre Management, businesses, schools, and community groups. It is also supported by many charities including Oxfam, Christian Aid, Abaana and Tearfund. To achieve Fairtrade status for Bangor it was necessary to have the support of North Down Borough Council.
“Fairtrade aims to help producers in developing countries and promote sustainability. It focuses on exports from developing countries to developed countries, most notably coffee, cocoa, tea, sugar, bananas, honey, cotton, wine, fresh fruit, chocolate, flowers and handicrafts. It works with producers and growers to enable them to be self sufficient and provides them with guaranteed and stable prices.
“Fairtrade is about cutting out the middleman and the multinational companies, and purchasing goods directly from the producers .This provides higher incomes for the producers and encourages them to improve their skills and develop their communities.
“The fact that Council supports this campaign means we will use fair-trade products in the town hall and other halls in the borough. In doing so we will provide help for some of the poorest communities in the world
“The Council will be following in the footsteps of 400 UK towns which have already been designated Fairtrade towns, and many local bodies including Belfast City Council and the Northern Ireland Assembly have already obtained Fairtrade status.
“People say to me “I cannot make any real difference”, but I strongly disagree. I believe that if you have enough drops of water you can create an ocean. By becoming Fairtrade Bangor, we can and will make a big difference together.”