BURY is celebrating after its “most successful Fairtrade Fortnight ever”.

Across the borough hardworking campaigners helped to raise awareness and hundreds of pounds to help support producers around the world as part of the 14-day effort, between February 25 and March 10.

They were joined by communities, schools, businesses and faith groups up and down the country who united to hold a range of events and educational projects.

The fortnight was kicked off by a bike ride from the Justica ethical shop in Bolton to Bury Unitarian Church, which raised over £200 for campaign resources.

Once at the church supporters enjoyed a launch event with Fairtrade refreshments and cakes, and talks from German and Dutch speakers.

Campaigners then ran a stall at the Parker Street Mosque’s open day and discussed how fundamental the concept of trade justice is to Muslims.

Shoppers at the Mill Gate Centre were also able to sample delicious Fairtrade chocolate and other products at a second stall.

Then on March 1, Kevin McCullough, the Fairtrade Foundation’s Head of Campaigns, and Indian campaigner Pushpanath Krishna gave a talk at Holy Cross College discussing the impact Fairtrade has had on communities in the developing world

Unfortunately another scheduled visit from Rosine Bekoin, a cocoa farmer from Cote d’Ivoire, had to be cancelled as her visa application was turned down and she was unable to travel to the UK.

However, Bury’s amazing efforts during the fortnight were praised by the Fairtrade Foundation, which tweeted: “Bury’s Fairtrade group put on a series of fantastic #FairtradeFortnight events including a bike ride from Bolton to Bury, chocolate tasting and a talk from @Pushpan @HolyCrossBury. Amazing commitment by @buryfairtrade over the last 8 years. Thank you so much for your support!”

This year the borough was also awarded Fairtrade status for the fifth time, marking eight years as a recognised Fairtrade town.

The accolade acknowledges a town’s commitment to supporting licensed Fairtrade products and their producers in the developing world both by selling and publicising them.

Organisers focussed this year’s campaign ­— She Deserves a Living Wage ­— on the poverty facing West African cocoa farmers, where 60 per cent of the crop is grown, and in particular women, who earn as little as 74p a day.

Such meagre incomes mean many struggle to pay for essentials like food, send their children to school, or buy medicine if they are sick.

The campaign received the backing of Bury South MP Ivan Lewis who welcomed farmers from Cote d’Ivoire, Rwanda and the Dominican Republic to Parliament.