The Bradford District Fair Trade Way sets off from Bradford Cathedral this July – and you can take part!

In July, the Bradford District Fair Trade Way will mark its tenth anniversary, and the Bradford Fairtrade Zone are inviting you to join them for 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 Fairtrade Way Logo

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 starts at Bradford Cathedral at 10am on Saturday 2nd July. Walkers will gather 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.

Further legs will take place on Sunday 3rd July (Baildon to Ilkley, via Burley-in-Wharfedale, 9 miles); 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).

We spoke to Karen Palframan of Bradford Fairtrade Zone about the upcoming walks. She will be leading the first walk over to Saltaire, after which our very own Mike de Villiers will take over for a stretch. Joanna Pollard, the Chair of the Fairtrade Foundation National Campaigner Committee, will also be walking 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.”

More details are available here on the flyer

Anyone is welcome to join for any of the legs, and you can get more information and sign up by e-mailing ilkleyfairtradegroup@gmail.com or by calling 07703 778261. There is no charge to take part, but donations to the ‘Chocolate Has A Name’ project are welcome.

“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.

Walkers are advised to have strong footwear and outdoor clothing, to dress for the weather and to bring along sufficient drinks and food. A packed lunch is recommended – and you could even make it Fairtrade or locally-sourced!

They advise that a reasonable level of fitness is required as there are some steep walk sections and stiles and, of course, potentially some mud!

As well as the walks there will also be a fundraising Ghanaian tea party, Fairtrade chocolate tasting, and story-telling held at St. James’ Church in Thornton on Saturday 9th July from 3:30pm to 5:30pm.

“We’ll have a lovely time walking, enjoying the fantastic countryside that we have in the Bradford District. It’ll also be an opportunity to make new friends and learn more about Fairtrade, chocolate making, and the people behind the cocoa in our chocolate bars – who each have a name!”

If you can’t make that or the walks, you can also support the cause by donating to a Crowdfunder campaign).

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.

We look forward to welcoming the walkers to Bradford Cathedral on Saturday 2nd July – why not come and wish them well at 10am. Keep an eye on social media for updates as the walk gets underway!

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