Briony Williams is set to host the 2020 South West Fair Trade Business Awards on 15th May, celebrating ethical organisations of all sizes and from any sector that have embraced Fair Trade through their work.
Bristol resident Briony won over audiences with her Bristol-themed bakes and down-to-earth approach as a contestant on the 2018 series of The Great British Bake Off, and returned to be crowned Star Baker on the latest Christmas edition of the show. Speaking on her upcoming engagement, Williams said:
“I am incredibly proud to be from the South West and I’m also very passionate about using high quality, sustainable products in my line of work. In the world we live in today, it’s more important than ever to take extra care over the products that we buy. By purchasing Fair Trade we can do our bit, however small, to help farmers and workers around the world. I’m thrilled to be a part of these awards, what a special event!”
The star joins a long list of high-profile hosts, including Liz Earle and George Alagiah, who have flown the flag for Fair Trade at the annual awards ceremony. Now in their eighth year, the South West Fair Trade Business Awards have recognised hundreds of organisations across the region that support Fair Trade through their purchasing, management and communications.
The South West Fair Trade Business Awards attract ethical organisations from across the region
This year’s ceremony takes place at the Tobacco Factory in Bristol. Continuing the sweet theme, attendees will be treated to an ‘afternoon tea’-style lunch from local caterers, Papadeli, whose delicatessen was recently named Britain’s Best Small Shop of 2019 by the Independent Retailers Confederation (IRC).
Also speaking at the ceremony, Nicola Matthews, so-called Countess of Cocoa from Tony’s Chocolonely will be sharing the story of how they are working towards making 100% slave free the norm in chocolate. The brand works directly with farmers in Ghana and Ivory Coast, countries that have been the focus of Fairtrade Foundation’s recent She Deserves campaign, calling for a living wage for women cocoa farmers. Commenting on Tony’s participation in the awards, UK Marketing Manager Nicola said:
“As a proud Fairtrade brand we are pleased to support the South West Fair Trade Business Awards. Making consumers aware of where their food comes from, and that there is often poverty and illegal labour in those supply chains is crucial to fixing the problem. Businesses supporting Fair Trade are part of the solution”.
Fair Trade certification schemes, such as Fairtrade, Fair Wild and Fair for Life, are instrumental in establishing fair and sustainable supply chains, establishing a minimum price for produce grown and manufactured in developing nations. Their standards help safeguard secure incomes, workers’ rights and better access to training, empowering communities through cooperative working and access to networks. Fair Trade standards also play a role in addressing the climate emergency, through their environmental standards and by helping small-scale farmers learn about and pay for the techniques needed to tackle the effects of the emergency.
Bristol Fair Trade Network is coordinating the awards, in partnership with Visit Bristol, South Gloucestershire Fairtrade and Business West. The initiative is part of the network’s drive to highlight the value of supporting both fair and local supply chains, encouraging individuals and organisations to choose local whenever possible, as well as buying Fair Trade through local independents. Supporting winners of the South West Fair Trade Business Awards is identified as a simple way of supporting Fair Trade through the local economy.
Applications for the South West Fair Trade Business Awards launched on Monday 20th January and will close on Friday 3rd April. Organisations can enter across ten categories, including a new award for Best South West Fair Trade Caterer. Other categories recognise retailers, manufacturers, workplaces, universities, venues, cafés, accommodation and locally-made products, as well as South West Fair Trade Champion, which shines a light on individuals advocating for Fair Trade. To enter and find out more, visit www.bristolfairtrade.org.uk/swftba.