Malton & Norton is a charming market town straddling the River Derwent in Ryedale. It is situated half way between the city of York and the coastal resort of Scarborough, with the Yorkshire Wolds rising up to the south and the town of Pickering, home of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, to the north.
The Fairtrade Town group was formed in March 2006 on a suggestion from the Churches Together Leaders group. This was followed on July 8 by a very successful Big Brew day when seven of the churches opened their doors inviting the public to enjoy Fairtrade refreshments. This included a Big Brew breakfast, coffee mornings, lunch, afternoon tea and chocolate tasting. The outcome of which nine churches committed to providing Fairtrade refeshments on their premises.
During Fairtrade Fortnight 2007 Sam Magona, a Fairtrade coffee grower from Uganda, spoke at a public meeting and the campaign to gain Fairtrade Town status for Malton & Norton was launched in July 2007 with the visit of Bruce Crowther from the Fairtrade Foundation. Bruce, instrumental in the campaign to make Garstang the first Fairtrade Town, was accompanied by Simeon Greene, a banana grower from the Windward Islands who shared his first-hand experience of Fairtrade. Both Sam and Simeon spoke enthusiastically about the impact of Fairtrade on their communities, thanked and encouraged us to continue our support and active campaigning for a trading system that worked and was fair.
Thus the Malton & Norton Fairtrade Town group was formed with members from businesses, local projects, local councils and churches.
In September 2008 after canvassing local councils, shops, cafes, businesses, voluntary organisations, schools and churches to pledge commitment to Fairtrade, Malton & Norton was awarded Fairtrade Town status. At a public meeting the official certificate was presented to the Mayors of Malton and Norton with individual certificates for organisations and businesses who had pledged support.
This was ‘the end of the beginning’ of the ongoing campaign to encourage businesses large and small, community groups and individuals to actively support Fairtrade. Since then we have re-applied in 2009, 2012 and 2014 and were awarded renewal of Fairtrade Town status for Malton & Norton. The next renewal date is 2016 and so the campaign goes on.