The Fairtrade Way Logo.
The Fairtrade Way Logo.

July 2022 marked the tenth anniversary of the Bradford District Fair Trade Way, and the Bradford Fairtrade Zone headed off on a series of walks to highlight the Fairtrade areas of the Bradford District, as well as raising money for Africaniwa’s ‘Chocolate Has A Name’ schools project.

The walking route came out of the 2012 Fairtrade Fortnight theme of ‘Take a Step for Fairtrade’ and was inspired by the original Fair Trade Way, which runs from Garstang to Keswick.  

There are five legs being walked, and the first started at Bradford Cathedral at 10am on Saturday 2nd July. Walkers gathered at the Stott Hill entrance to follow the first leg of the recently launched ‘Yorkshire Heritage Way’, before branching off towards Bingley to complete a 13-mile first journey.

On Sunday 3rd July the walkers went from Baildon to Ilkley, via Burley-in-Wharfedale, 9 miles. Further legs will take place on Friday 8th July (Ilkley to Haworth, via Keighley, 11 miles); Saturday 9th July (Haworth to Thornton, via Denholme, 8 miles); and Sunday 10th July (from Thornton, back to Bradford Cathedral, 6 miles).

Ahead of the walks, we spoke to Karen Palframan of Bradford Fairtrade Zone about them. She led the first walk over to Saltaire, after which our very own Mike de Villiers took over for a stretch. Joanna Pollard, the Chair of the Fairtrade Foundation National Campaigner Committee, also walked it. Karen herself is a keen walker – and Duke of Edinburgh’s Award leader – and she talked a little about the route and its importance.

“[The Way] is a scenic, circular walking route linking all the Fairtrade towns and villages in the Bradford District.

“The walks are important as they will remind people that there is still a great need for Fairtrade; that there are campaigners out there raising awareness of all the economic, social and environmental benefits that Fairtrade provides: better incomes for the producers in developing countries who are still in poverty and don’t have the facilities we have, like free schooling, health services, access to technology and even clean water.

“There’s still a lot to be done, and we often forget the producers who are squeezed at the bottom of global supply chains. Fairtrade is an international movement to redress this, and the need is as great as ever.”

“The children living in cocoa growing areas of Ghana will mainly be unaware of the value and importance of cocoa and, with a cocoa farmer in West Africa typically earning just 74p a day, their families can never afford to buy chocolate. The global chocolate industry is hugely profitable, but most of the value of a chocolate bar is added after the cocoa beans leave the farm. The educational ‘Chocolate has a name’ project will introduce chocolate making sessions to school children in Ghana to teach them all about cocoa – including its history, value and nutritional properties.

You can find out more about the walks on the ‘Chocolate Has A Name’ website and discover some of the route maps on the Bradford Council Self-Guided Walks site. Walk sheets will also be available soon.

Bradford Cathedral is a keen supporter of Fairtrade, and you can buy goods at the fortnightly Fairtrade stall after the Sunday morning service.

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