ILMINSTER has become a Fairtrade Town – the first town in South Somerset to sign up to the initiative.

Earlier this year, Roger Gurner, of South Petherton, put forward the idea to the town council in a bid to bring more people to Ilminster.

Ilminster Fairtrade announced this week that the town council has approved the scheme and Mr Gurner, chair of the Ilminster Fairtrade steering group, said he was delighted with the support they have received.

He added: “This is a first for South Somerset and we are pleased that Ilminster is leading the way.”

The news means that the use and sale of Fairtrade products throughout the town will be “actively encouraged” and their use within council offices and at events involving the council.

The UK has 584 Fairtrade towns and there are 11 across Somerset, Ilminster becoming the 12th.

The group is now preparing to carry the campaign forward with a presence at the Party on the Park, the Ilminster Carnival, The Rotary Charity Fair, and the Victorian Evening.

Mayor of Ilminster, Emma Jane Taylor, said: “Councillors are delighted that Ilminster will be the first Fairtrade town in South Somerset.

“The feedback from the Fairtrade steering committee following public consultations and discussion with traders in the town has been very positive and we believe that aiming to buy local or, where that is not possible, supporting fairtrade is a good policy to have, although we recognise this is not always possible.”

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