Fairtrade in Roscommon Roscommon town’s bid to become a Fairtrade town was launched at an event in Gleeson’s on Friday last. The Fairtrade mark is an independent consumer label which appears on products as a guarantee that disadvantaged producers are getting a better deal. It guarantees farmers in developing countries a fair price for their products, one that covers their costs. A large number of shops, pubs and restaurants in Roscommon now stock Fairtrade products, including tea and coffee. Members of the local Fairtrade committee met in Gleeson’s on Friday afternoon last and during Friday morning’s Farmers’ Market in the town, visitors had an opportunity to sample Fairtrade produce at a stall in the market. Indeed, all of the tea and coffee for the Friday morning event was sponsored by Bewley’s The launch was part of an on-going process to develop the town as a Fairtrade venue. The local committee was established in February of this year. At a recent meeting of Roscommon County Council, Cllr. Orla Leyden proposed that the council back Roscommon’s bid to become a Fairtrade town and this was unanimously agreed by council members. Among those present at the launch were county footballer John Tiernan who has spearheaded the Fairtrade label in both Athlone and Roscommon. He was joined by Niamh Kelly, Mary Gleeson, Gerry Browne, Liam Stephens, Maureen Brosnan of Tattie Hoaker and others. Each Fairtrade town needs a flagship business to promote the produce and this challenge has been taken up by Gleeson’s Townhouse in Roscommon. Next time you’re relaxing in Gleeson’s with a tea or coffee you can do so safe in the knowledge that producers are not being exploited in the production of the produce you’re enjoying. In recent weeks, members of the Roscommon Fairtrade Committee have been approaching local pubs, shops and restaurants, asking them to stock Fairtrade tea and coffee and other products and have received an excellent response from local businesses. It is hoped to have the official launch of Roscommon as a Fairtrade town in February 2008, when a Fairtrade fortnight takes place.