We're three quarters the way through Fairtrade Fortnight, so I thought it was a good time to review how Chippenham is faring with its Fairtrade status. As I suspected last year, Chippenham is indeed not a Fairtrade town yet. The first and only town with that status here in North Wiltshire is Malmesbury. However, Chippenham Town Council have announced their intention to achieve Fairtrade status and as part of the work needed to attain that goal, launched Chippenham's first Fairtrade directory last week.
Most of the directory's 16 pages is geared towards explaining what it's all about. Places in Chippenham listed as selling Fairtrade goods forms less than a double page spread and that includes outlets in some of our nearby villages. Just looking at the town's cafes, only half of them have Fairtrade options on offer like tea and coffee. I also did a quick recce round my supermarket at the weekend and could see no increase in Fairtrade goods for sale compared to last year. No wonder my shopping habits haven't changed that much, but at least now I have a handy form listing the variety of Fairtrade products available, which I can hand in to my local store to request what I'd like to see there.
Some progress then, but lots more is needed - the target date set to achieve Fairtrade status for Chippenham is by the end of this year.