Honiton's application to be recognised as a Fairtrade Town has been successful, and a celebration event has been organised by the Fairtrade Town Steering Group for Saturday, April 20. 

The festivities will commence at 10am and go on until 1pm, taking place in Mackarness Hall and on St Paul's forecourt.

Richard Foord, the MP for Tiverton & Honiton, has confirmed his attendance for the event.

Rosemary Gilbert from the steering group said the official recognition had taken some time to achieve.

She said: "We formed Honiton a Fairtrade Town Steering Group in June 2021 and began meeting regularly, often once a month, after that.

"To gain recognition as a Fairtrade Town, we gave evidence of raising awareness about Fairtrade."

This involved organising several events in the library including coffee mornings with displays and activities during Fairtrade Fortnights.

They have also closely worked with Co-op, which stocks a wide range of Fairtrade items, to spread awareness about their products.

The group has also run information stalls selling Fairtrade products at Honiton Market several times a year, and has taken part of the Honiton Charter Day event.

They spoke to various groups including the Women's Institute, and encouraged local shops and businesses to stock Fairtrade products.

They have also engaged with primary schools and held a poster competition with Easter eggs as rewards. They paid for a group of pupils to attend a Fairtrade Conference at a school in Exmouth, where the children met two coffee farmers from a co-operative in north-west Rwanda, and later presented a school assembly about Fairtrade.

All these initiatives were submitted to the Fairtrade Foundation, which awarded the town’s Fairtrade certificate.

The celebration on April 20 will feature entertainment including live music, tables offering samples from businesses that stock Fairtrade and ethically traded products, a stall selling Fairtrade items. Fairtrade coffee and tea will be available, and cakes made with Fairtrade ingredients. 

There will be an official declaration and a cake-cutting ceremony at 11am on the forecourt of St Paul's Church, weather permitting.