FAIRTRADE MARMALADE AND HONEY for sandwiches at a teddy bear’s picnic in the Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens is on offer as part of this Saturdays (27) fifth Fairtrade anniversary.

The Fair Trade Festival at the Museum & Winter Gardens (11am-3pm) is being organised by the City Council, its partners on the Fairtrade Steering Group and Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums to raise awareness of Sunderland’s role in the international campaign and how people can support it.

Sunderland achieved Fairtrade city status five years ago in recognition of its long standing support for the campaign, which is aimed at helping growers in developing countries compete on the international markets by supporting and promoting their produce.

The Mayor and Mayoress of Sunderland,Councillors Iain Kay and Barbara McClennan will open the event at 11am.

There will a display of the wide range of Fairtrade products on sale across the city, and the opportunity for children to visit the Teddy Bear Story exhibition from the V & A Museum of Childhood in London and make teddy bear bookmarks with Fairtrade cotton as a reminder of the day and of the campaign.

Fairtrade products on display and on sale this Saturday will include; skin care, food and snacks, jewellery, accessories, greetings cards, toiletries, candles and wooden crafts from suppliers including Neal’s Yard Remedies, Traidcraft, Shea Alchemy, By Hand, Tropical Wholefoods, St Bede’s Fairtrade and Awamu.

Mayor of Sunderland, Cllr Iain Kay said: “I am delighted to have been asked to represent the people of Sunderland at this marvellous event, celebrating the fifth anniversary of our city receiving international recognition as a ‘Fairtrade’ city.

“Over the last five years Sunderland’s Fairtrade Steering Group has encouraged and supported an ever increasing number of partners within the business community, education and voluntary sector to stock Fairtrade products and support its general aims wherever possible.

” The City Council is proud that so many people and organisations across Sunderland have become involved with the campaign. Our caf├ęs and catering services all serve Fairtrade products as do the University and College, schools and faith groups along with a number of our partners including City Hospitals NHS Trust.”

Chair of the Fairtrade Steering Group, Karen Hetherington added: “Despite the tough economic climate shoppers are embracing ethical values, showing they care by choosing Fairtrade. This is demonstrated by the fact that Fairtrade sales were up by 40% last year and that 79% of people recognise the Fairtrade mark. The end result is that farmers and workers are paid a fair price for their products, along with a premium which can be invested in their community.”

To find out more about Fairtrade contact the Sunderland Partnership on 0191 561 1154 or e-mail: sunderland.partnership@sunderland.gov.uk or visit www.sunderlandpartnership.org.uk

To find out more about the Teddy Bear Story exhibition please contact the Learning Team at Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens on 0191 553 2323 or e-mail learning@sunderlandmuseum.org.uk. Visit the website www.twmuseums.org.uk/sunderland for opening hours and exhibition information.