Clonakilty in Cork becomes the first Fairtrade town in Ireland.

Fairtrade began in the 1970s when small charity shops realised buying goods such as coffee, bananas, cocoa and tea on fair terms, was a way of directly helping farmers in developing nations. 

Fairtrade Mark Ireland awards a consumer label to products which meet internationally recognised standards of fair trade. It is part of a worldwide campaign supported by charities such as Concern, Trócaire and Oxfam. 

Gretta Kelly owner of the Old Market House Foodstore in Clonakilty, West Cork has always stocked Fairtrade to ensure,

People doing a hard day’s work are getting a decent days wage for what they’re doing.

The Clonakilty Fairtrade Committee spearheaded by chairperson Jennifer Sleeman conducted an education and publicity campaign to encourage shops and businesses in Clonakilty to stock Fairtrade products. They are fully supported by Reverend Ian Jonas and Father Gerard Galvin, who consider Fairtrade preferable to a charitable donation.

This appeals to me because of the ongoing change the permanent change it makes to peoples’ lives.

In order to achieve the Fairtrade status, all of Clonakilty’s supermarkets agreed to stock Fairtrade products. At least 10 of the town's businesses and organisations agreed to use Fairtrade products and the Quality Hotel and Leisure Centre became completely Fairtrade. Deputy Lord Mayor of Clonakilty Phil O’Regan says the town council fully supports the Fairtrade campaign and encourages its constituents to do likewise.

Peter Gaynor of Fairtrade Mark Ireland would like to see bigger companies getting involved in Fairtrade.

If enough people buy Fairtrade products, buy Fairtrade coffee and the other products, then those companies are far more likely to get involved.

This episode of 'Nationwide' was broadcast on 29 October 2003. The reporter is Jennie O'Sullivan.