Reading ready to mark 10 years of Fairtrade

Reading will be celebrating its 10th anniversary as a Fairtrade Town with two weeks of activities between February 25 and March 10 coinciding with Fairtrade Fortnight.

Reading was one of the first 10 places in the UK to become a Fairtrade Town.

“I think there are over 500 now,” said Bente Madeira, Events Co-ordinator for RISC and member of Reading Fair Trade steering group.

“We were in the forefront of that.

“At the start only Global Café and Café Iguana (now sadly closed) used Fairtrade products. I think there are well over 50 now”, Bente contnued.

“Reading Borough Council has also worked hard for fair trade. They had passed a resolution long before we got our status.”

It should come as little surprise that this year’s Fairtrade Fortnight will include lots of celebrations.

“I think the big event will be here at RISC with Zaytoun, who are our suppliers from Palestine,” said Viviana Conti, Intern at RISC. This takes place on Friday, March 7 with a tea party from noon to 2pm and a talk with wine at 7pm.

“Zaytoun’s director will explain how hard growers have to work to produce their olives and oil.”

Other events include Just Trade Jewellery story told by Laura Cave founder of Just Trade on Saturday, March 8 in the World Shop.

You can also learn how farmers in Columbia stopped growing coca and started growing fruit which is now dried and sold as Fairtrade produce.

This event takes place on Wednesday, March 12 at 7.30pm, again at RISC.

St Barnabas Church in Elm Road, off Shinfield Road, is holding The Big Brew on Saturday, March 8. At it, people can buy Traidcraft goods and hear a speaker from Community Savings and Loans, Berkshire’s Credit Union.

You can sign up to the Union on the day: just bring along proof of address, a photo ID and £5 and you can join the credit union.

There will also be special services at churches, tasting sessions and even a pancake party.

Entry to most events is free. For details, see our at-a-glance diary or log on to

Last modified on Friday, 21 February 2014 13:22