THE push to win Fairtrade status for Harrow began in earnest this week with a publicity blitz topped off with a performance of a rap theme song.
To gain the eco-friendly qualification – which ensures producers of food and clothing among other goods get a fair price for their wares - 33 retailers, 17 catering outlets and one large employer in the borough must demonstrate they are committed to the cause by stocking or using two Fairtrade lines daily.
Schools and organisations, both secular and religious, have similarly been urged to join the effort under the banner slogan 'It takes two’, which reflects the idea the council and the community need to work together to reach the common goal.
The campaign started on Tuesday (Mar 8) with the Mayor of Harrow, Councillor Asad Omar, and Jacques Vernier, the visiting Mayor of Harrow's French twin town Douai, watching a performance in pedestrianised St Ann's Road in Harrow of a track, 'It Takes Two', sung by artist Kimba and produced by local charity BTWSC's Music4Causes project.
Councillor Nana Asante (Labour), who chairs the Harrow Fairtrade Steering Group, said: “I am proud that Harrow is supporting the Fairtrade Foundation and encouraging more retailers and shoppers to choose ethical products that pay workers a fair price for their efforts.
“London is the largest Fairtrade city in the world, and due to the council’s long-standing commitment to champion Fairtrade Harrow will now be an active, vibrant part of that success.”
Richard Lyons, a teacher at Salvatorian College in High Road, Harrow Weald, said: “We have been supporting Fairtrade Fortnight for the last three years and I feel that it is vitally important that young people are made aware of the inequalities that exist within our trade with developing nations.”
Laura Gil, of sustainability charity Harrow Agenda 21, said: “We are supporting Harrow during Fairtrade Fortnight and in becoming a Fairtrade borough. We want to help raise awareness, educate and provide solutions so that Harrow’s residents and businesses can make positive consumer decisions and take actions that promote environmental, social and economic well being for everyone.”
Schoolchildren have been busy in their classrooms creating designs on special Fairtrade bunting triangles as part of a national attempt to smash the record for the longest bunting chain.
Harrow's contribution is intended to be a row of bunting long enough to connect Harrow Civic Centre in Station Road, Harrow, and Brent Town Hall in Forty Avenue, Wembley.
National Fairtrade Fortnight, which aims to highlight the cause and encourage participants, ends on Sunday.
Anyone interested in getting involved in the Fairtrade drive can contact email@example.com for more information.