AN EXTRA special Fairtrade Fortnight was celebrated in Brent, as the borough marked the achievement of an eight year dream.
Residentsand the Brent Fairtrade Network gathered at the Convent of Jesus and Mary Language College, Harlesden, to celebrate not only the nationwide fortnight of events, but Brent's new Fairtrade status.
Theborough has applied for the official recognition for eight years running, and successfully hit all the required bench marks in this year's process.
Step Forward for Fairtrade saw around 150 people gather at the college to enjoy a range of stalls and other attractions.
Aftera welcome from Nicki Walsh, assistant head teacher at the school, the event was opened by the Mayor of Brent Aslam Choudry, who spoke about Brent getting recognition as a Fairtrade Borough after years of hard work.
Brent is the 24th Fairtrade borough in London and the 533rd Fairtrade town, borough or city in the UK.
MikeGidney, deputy executive director of the Fairtrade Foundation, presented the mayor with a certificate of Fairtrade Borough status to loud applause.
Peter Moore,chairman of Brent Fairtrade Network, read out a message of congratulations from Brent Central MP Sarah Teather and showed a film of newsreader George Alagiah visiting Fairtrade coffee producers in Nicaragua.
Dr Moore said:“This celebration went even better than we had hoped, with around 150 people attending. It was a great combination of enjoying Fairtrade products and seeing Brent being awarded the long-sought status of a Fairtrade Borough.”
Guestsalso heard from Jaishankar Talreja, the chief operating Officer of India’s first fair trade label, Shop for Change – Fair Trade.
PeteLemmon, who founded Brent Fairtrade Network when he was Mayor of Brent in 2003-04, also spoke about Fairtrade and its promotion in the borough before cutting a special celebratory cake made by Hazel Bryan, with the mayor.
Year 7 students atthe college performed a special Fairtrade dance, and there was a slide show of the school’s wide range of Fairtrade activities.