Neston Fairtrade Town Steering Group

Neston Fairtrade Town Steering Group – Facebook page

contact [email protected]  0151 336 6305 for further details

What is Fairtrade? Why buy Fairtrade products?

Fairtrade gives people the power to change the world, for the better, every time they shop. The Fairtrade logo, seen on many products, is a sign that the product has been ethically traded under the Fairtrade scheme. Fairtrade ensures that the people who grow our food or produce the material for clothing receive a fair price for their work and long-term contracts. In addition, the growers earn a Fairtrade Premium – a sum to invest in vital business, social and environmental projects.

Who is in the steering group?

Members of the Steering Group represent the Local Council, Town Council, WIs, local churches, local Trade Justice group and local business or anyone with an interest in Fairtrade.

What is the aim of the steering group?

The aim of the group is to achieve Fairtrade Town status for Neston and to raise awareness of Fairtrade in local businesses, community groups and at local events.

What is Fairtrade Town Status and how is it achieved?

Fairtrade Town Status is an award from the Fairtrade Foundation ( to towns which meet the criteria to demonstrate the community’s commitment to Fairtrade.

There are five criteria, all achieved:

  • Town Council to commit to buying only Fairtrade items for refreshments for Neston Town Council meetings and events where appropriate.
  • Fairtrade products are readily available in local shops. (Look out for the Fairtrade mark on products in Sainsbury’s, Aldi and Tesco).
  • Local workplaces and community organisations use Fairtrade products. The majority of our churches serve Fairtrade tea and coffee.
  • Hold awareness-raising events across the community. Since the establishment of the steering group in October 2015 many events have been held. See some of these events in the photos below.
  • Establish a Fairtrade steering group.

Can I join the group?

If you have an interest in Fairtrade you are always welcome. Contact [email protected] 0151 336 6305 for further details. The group meets five or six times a year at Neston Methodist Church.

July 2021 – Fairtrade Flowerbed

With the agreement of the Borough Council’s Environmental Services, members of  Neston Fairtrade Town Group recently dug over and replanted the Chester Road car park flowerbed, with the Fairtrade logo, in celebration of Neston’s continuing status as a Fairtrade town. The group thank Dovecote Nurseries for generously donating the plants. Blue represents the sky and optimism, green is for the earth and growth, and the black area is a silhouette of a person with an arm held high, symbolising empowerment.

Look for products which carry this international Fairtrade symbol, the most globally recognised ethical label. Buying these ensures that farmers and workers receive a fair price, plus extra money called a Fairtrade Premium, to spend on projects in their community. They have rights to join unions, work in safe conditions, and ensure no child labour.

Thanks to Margaret Heibel’s son, Robert, who kindly made the 3D printed plastic signs for the flowerbed. It was a warm morning and the workers were very grateful to receive bottles of water given from Salon Dene Hair Stylists on Chester Road.

Photos show Janet Griffiths and Margaret Heibel preparing the bed for planting; the plants in the shape of the logo; Margaret with Committee members Brenda Marple, Louise Metcalfe-Irvine, and Gaynor Hilton-Ward, presenting a Certificate to Philippa Harris of Dovecote Nurseries.

Wave of Hope June 2021

Neston Fairtrade Town Group are proud to be supporting Wave of Hope.

The UK are hosting the G7 Summit 11th-13th June & the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in November.
Together with 70+ organisations & people around the UK, we are calling on the World Leaders to #CrackTheCrises of Covid, Injustice, Climate Change & Nature
Loss. Will you join thousands of others around the UK in a Wave of Hope?
To join in
1 Gather old cereal boxes/paper
2 Draw/trace/print/paint a hand or hands on it
3 Add a message of hope eg ‘I’ve got hope for a healthier, fairer, greener world’
4 Take a photo & share online
5 Display in a window at home
5 Check out the digital gallery
7 Keep the wave going by keeping in touch with one of the organisations involved
8 Sign the Wave Of Hope petition
More details on and #waveofhope
Neston Fairtrade Town Group plan to put a display of information & hands in the windows at Neston Methodist Church & Community Centre in June. We would
welcome contributions of hands. Just post through the letter box at the Church on Park Street, Neston

Big Brew May 28th 2021

On 28th May, the Neston Methodist Church and Community Centre hosted a fundraising event called the Big Brew at its Welcome Cafe, for Traidcraft. The event raised £100, which was matched by the Government, with Traidcraft receiving £200. The Fairtrade Town Group had a display in the entrance to the church. Many thanks to all the people who helped make the cakes and sandwiches, display boards etc and all the customers who supported it.

Fairtrade Day May 8th 2021

Five reasons why choosing Fairtrade supports farmers to adapt to a changing climate:

  1. Fairtrade trains young people in climate leadership.
  2. Cocoa farmers plant trees to protect crops and soil fertility.
  3. Coffee farmers switch to clean energy powered by coffee husks.
  4. Banana farmers facing unpredictable weather invest in irrigation.
  5. Fairtrade funds resilience to climate change.

Read more.

Fairtrade Fortnight 2021 …. with a difference!

This year’s Fairtrade Fortnight had, like everything else in the last twelve months, a very different feel to it. Due to lockdown restrictions we were unable to run a Fairtrade stall in the market. Instead, we put up a colourful, eye-catching display in the windows of Neston Methodist Church & Community Centre which provided information on where Fairtrade products can be purchased locally. Fairtrade roses, chocolate, coffee, tea and bananas can be purchased in your local Sainsbury, Aldi, Tesco or Nisa. Fairtrade sugar, wine, ice cream, honey and lemons are also available. Look out for the Fairtrade mark.

Fairtrade Fortnight 2021 focused on the growing challenges that climate change brings to farmers and workers in countries such as Kenya, Ethiopia and Honduras. Farmers who produce our food are on the front line of the climate crisis. Late last year two major hurricanes devastated Central America. Fairtrade farmers in Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua saw their crops of coffee, cocoa, honey and vegetables destroyed. Ongoing poverty in farming communities makes it increasingly hard to cope with the effects of climate change. More than ever, they need a fair price for their crops and their hard work. Later this year the UK will host the UN climate talks in Glasgow. Let’s hope they consider the plight of those who produce the food we eat.

Local Fairtrade contact [email protected]

Neston Town Councillors support Fairtrade  

Janet Griffiths and Brenda Marple with the Fairtrade Fortnight display at Neston Methodist Church & Community Centre.

Climate, Fairtrade and You ‘Choose the World You Want’

By buying Fairtrade products locally and online you, the consumer, can play a part in addressing the climate crisis. Many farmers and workers growing the food we eat do not earn enough to feed their families, invest in their community or build resilience against health and climate shocks. Covid-19 and climate change have exacerbated the already precarious situation for producers. You can be part of the solution. By buying Fairtrade products you give the producers higher ‘living’ incomes enabling them to adapt to climate change. Look for the Fairtrade logo on products when you shop.

Displays in Neston Methodist Church:

More Fairtrade Fortnight information

Virtual Festival for Fairtrade Fortnight    www.

Special Days when you can buy Fairtrade Products

Mothers’ Day 14th March                     roses, chocolates, ice cream, wine, gold jewellery

Easter 2nd-4th April                            chocolate Easter Eggs

A large range of Fairtrade products can be bought online from Traidcraft

Press Release February 2021 Looking for Fairtrade Easter Eggs?   

Let Neston Fairtrade group help

Take the easy way to find Fairtrade chocolate Easter Eggs and other products, either locally or online:

Special Days when you can use Fairtrade Products:

  • Valentines Day, 14th Feb
  • Pancake Tuesday, 16th Feb
  • Mothers Day, 14th March
  • Easter Day, 4th April

In Neston, Aldi, Sainsbury, and Tesco stores all stock Fairtrade goods and there’s a good choice of Easter eggs and other chocolate products. Watch out for Moser Roth chocolate in Aldi.

The Real Easter Egg:  because of the pandemic it is more important than ever that we find ways to share the Easter story in 2021. All Real Easter Eggs come with an Easter story in the box. The stories range from simple guides to 24 page activity book versions.  So, buy a Real Easter Egg this spring and encourage others to give one to their loved ones, a school or sponsor a food bank donation.  This year, a new white chocolate Fairtrade egg is available.

The full range can be ordered at  or some of the range is available online from,,, and Embrace the Middle East (

Other makes of Fairtrade Easter eggs are available on these websites too. Go hunt your Easter Eggs!

September 2020 Press Release – Celebrate! Neston Fairtrade Town Status renewed.

Neston Fairtrade Steering Group are pleased to announce the successful renewal of Neston as a Fairtrade Town. The consumer choices of Neston community to buy Fairtrade products together with the support of community organisations, local businesses and the Town Council have made this possible. Thanks to one and all.

July 2020 Press Release

Pre-lockdown our Neston Community celebrated Fairtrade Fortnight 24th February to 8th March. Events held included Fairtrade coffee mornings, displays and a story-bombing activity (a kind of treasure hunt) at Neston Library, and school assemblies.

Parkgate Primary School


Neston Market


Neston Methodist Church

February 2020 – Neston celebrates Fairtrade Fortnight in Style

A Fashion Show with a difference was held at Neston Methodist Church & Community Centre.  Susan Flynn, founder and chair of Chifundo, explained how the charity promotes sustainable fashion. Second-hand clothing is reused, recycled and reclaimed by embellishing good quality clothing from charity shops using Malawian fabrics. The aim of Chifundo is to empower girls and women in Malawi by obtaining orders, selling products and raising money. Sewing groups in Malawi produce creative outfits and accessories for which they are paid fair wages – twice the minimum wage in Malawi.
Models, including Megan and Robyn from Neston High School, strutted their stuff on the catwalk showing examples of embellished clothing.
Fairtrade refreshments were served by Neston Fairtrade Group and there was opportunity to purchase Chifundo outfits, bags and accessories. Fairtrade products were available at stalls provided by the Meaningful Chocolate Company and Traidcraft plc.
The evening highlighted some of the challenges found within the Fashion Industry, particularly within developing countries, and the positive impact of the Fairtrade system on some of the poorest communities, where women can begin to envisage a future where they can provide for their families.

January 2020 – Neston & District Churches Together

At the AGM at Burton Parish Church, which followed the Christian Unity service, NDCT reps for all 11 churches, representing five denominations, received Certificates, thanking them for their commitment to Fairtrade and the part they played in making Neston a Fairtrade Town.

Supermarkets support Fairtrade

December 2019 – Neston Christmas Market

A Festive Fairtrade Feast of cakes fed folk at Neston Christmas Market. In the Town Hall a Fairtrade cafe provided Fairtrade tea and coffee with cakes and scones made with Fairtrade ingredients.
The Mayor, Councillor Dominic Roberts, received a framed certificate from Mrs Margaret Heibel, Chair of Neston Fairtrade Group, to celebrate Neston’s recently anounced Fairtrade Town Status.
Mr John Tacon (acting Chair of Chester Fairtrade Group) brought congratulations from Cheshire West and Chester Fairtrade Group.

November 2019 – Neston Town Council celebrates Fairtrade Town Status award
Neston Mayor, Councillor Dominic Roberts, accepts a certificate in recognition of Neston Town Council’s commitment to serve Fairtrade tea and coffee at all their meetings. This commitment meets the first of five criteria necessary to achieve Fairtrade Town Status. Photo shows the Mayor with Neston Town Councillors and members of Neston Fairtrade Group with Margaret Heibel (chair)

October 2019 – Neston is declared a Fairtrade Town!

On 15th October 2019 Neston was awarded Fairtrade Status. The award means that Neston Council, local business and the wider community have made a commitment to buy and supply Fairtrade Certified goods wherever possible and promote Fairtrade.

The campaign for Neston to become a Fairtrade Town started in 2015, when a small group of Fairtrade enthusiasts came together to form The Neston Fairtrade Steering Group. They worked to help the town achieve Fairtrade status and meet the requirements laid down by the Fairtrade Foundation, which governs the scheme.

The Steering group promoted Fairtrade to local businesses, schools, churches and other community organisations. They worked to make sure that least four Fairtrade products could be purchased in the local Neston shops and eateries. A well-stocked and informative Fairtrade Stall became a regular feature at special Friday Markets, Summer Fairs and other community celebrations and events.

In declaring Neston a Fairtrade Town the Fairtrade Foundation made the following comments:

“It is wonderful to see that Fairtrade is really becoming a part of the Neston community through the active support shown by the groups, organisations and businesses!”

September 2019 – What on earth…

A Fairtrade cafe provided a warm welcome  at Neston’s Earth Festival. Customers enjoyed quality Fairtrade tea and coffee, biscuits and cakes. Fairtrade samples were freely available. The cafe was run by members of Neston Fairtrade Town Group.

Justin Madders enjoys a Fairtrade cuppa

July 2019 – A Fairtrade Stall attracted plenty of attention at Neston Village Fair 2019.

Visitors to the stall enjoyed a variety of Fairtrade samples.

June 2019 – Fairtrade says Thank You to Ness & Little Neston WI

A Thank You certificate was presented by Margaret Heibel, Chair of Neston Fairtrade Town Group, to President Pauline Pollard and Refreshments Coordinator Georgina Walker of Ness & Little Neston WI. The WI supports Fairtrade by serving Fairtrade refreshments at their regular meetings.

February 2019 – Fairtrade Fortnight Market Stall

To celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight 2019, Neston Fairtrade Group held a market stall where free Fairtrade chocolate tasters were enjoyed by the many visitors to our stall. Iced coffee, nuts and other Fairtrade products were also enthusiastically sampled. Thank you to the many who showed an interest in the stall – we enjoyed your conversations. The Fairtrade system ensures the farmer/producer receives a fair price for providing the food we enjoy.

December 2018 – Neston Christmas Market

Festive Fairtrade with Cllr Janet Griffiths and Mayor Pat Kynaston

Fairtrade fun for families with Irene Pendleton

November 2018 – Who supports Fairtrade? We do!

As Neston moves closer to becoming a Fairtrade Town, members of Neston Fairtrade Group presented ‘thank you’ certificates in venues across the town. The Fairtrade system ensures that farmers who grow our food in some of the poorest countries are paid fairly. In a society where money is the driving force, regardless of what is fair, Neston shoppers can show that they belong to a caring community by the way they shop.

Fairtrade at the Welcome Café

Councillor Louise Gittins, Margaret Heibel and Gaynor Marsden present a certificate to Lay Pastor Len Sloan, of the Welcome Café held each Friday morning in Neston Methodist Church where Fairtrade products are served to the local community.

Fairtrade at Sainsbury’s

Margaret Heibel, Chair of Neston Fairtrade Group, presents a ‘thank you’ certificate to Louise Irvine (PR Ambassador} in recognition of Sainsbury’s support for Fairtrade.  Sainsbury’s donate free samples for many of our local stalls.

Neston Community and Youth Centre promotes Fairtrade

Margaret Heibel, Chair of Neston Fairtrade Group, presented a ‘thank you’ certificate to Val Sargent and Zaria Shreef of Neston Community & Youth Centre, for raising awareness of Fairtrade at the Wildlife Festival in September.

From left Cheryl Ellis, Irene Pembleton, Gaynor Marsden, Margaret Heibel

From left Zeta Emmett (Womens Institute); Janet Griffiths (Town Council & Civic Society); Cheryl Ellis (Wirral Trade Justice); Margaret Heibel (Neston & District Churches Together); Louise Irvine (Sainsbury’s).

September 2018 – Fairtrade stall at Wildlife Festival at NC&YC

Neston Fairtrade Town Group provided Fairtrade refreshments and an information display and tasting stall at the Community Wildlife Festival at NCYC. The emphasis was ‘Our Community can buy Fairtrade products locally and make a difference to people in less developed countries by providing them with Fair wages and decent working conditions’.

June 2018 – Fairtrade stall at Neston Village Fair

Neston Fairtrade Town Steering Group have achieved 4 of the 5 goals to becoming a Fairtrade Town, are working towards the last goal and plan to apply for status this autumn.

We had a lovely sunny day and people enjoyed tasting the Fairtrade samples. Many thanks for donations of bananas from Sainsbury’s; and Divine chocolate, Traidcraft Geobars, Liberation Nuts and dried mango and pineapple from Tropical Wholefoods.

Cllr Martin Barker and Mayor of Neston Pat Kynaston wth Justin Madders and his wife.

January 2018 – Little Neston  Supports Fairtrade

A certificate of thanks was presented by Neston’s Fairtrade Group to Village News for selling Fairtrade Products.
Little Neston Methodist Church held a Christmas tree display and their Fairtrade rep, Jean Hutcheon, decorated one with Fairtrade symbols
Fairtrade Fortnight was 26th February-11th March 2018 and the Neston Fairtrade Town Steering Group and local Churches invited more people to support Fairtrade.
For more information on Fairtrade contact Margaret Heibel email

December 2017 – Neston Victorian Christmas Festival

Neston Mayor Pat Kynaston, Cheshire WI Zeta Emmett, and Janet Griffiths at the Fairtrade stall at the Neston Victorian Christmas Festival

March 2016 – Neston Town supported Fairtrade Fortnight

The Neston Fairtrade Town Steering Group held a ‘Sit Down for Breakfast, Stand up for Fairtrade’ event at Neston Town Hall on Saturday 5th March 2016 to highlight the difference people can make to the lives of producers by buying Fairtrade goods.
Free Fairtrade refreshments & Fairtrade samples were enjoyed and £200 worth of purchases were made from the Traidcraft & ‘And Albert’ stalls. Over 200 people, including MP Justin Madders & Neston Town Mayor Mike Shipman, supported the event.

Mike Shipman (Mayor of Neston) and Justin Madders (MP for Ellesmere Port and Neston)

Neston Fairtrade Town Steering Group