Chocolate Week 10-16 October: Cathedrals and smaller museums lead the way in Fairtrade tourism chocolate


LEICESTER CATHEDRAL is one of a number of top visitor attractions to switch their souvenir chocolate bars to Fairtrade, in time to celebrate Chocolate Week (10-16 Oct).


While many tourist attractions sell souvenir chocolate bars with a picture of the attraction on the wrapper, The Meaningful Chocolate Company could not find a single one using certified Fairtrade chocolate.


Working with the Fairtrade Foundation, the company has spent the past 18 months developing a fast track way to provide the UK’s first Fairtrade Belgian chocolate souvenir bars to key venues.


Leicester Cathedral was the first to create a specifically themed, souvenir Fairtrade chocolate bar. The Very Revd David Monteith, Dean of Leicester, said: “We believe this is a vital contribution to the service we offer in creating a fairer world, where people are properly rewarded for the work they do.”


David Marshall, from The Meaningful Chocolate Company, said: “We have invited the UK’s top attractions to switch – with a mixed response. The British Museum declined, Tate Modern Art gallery told us Fairtrade bars did not ‘fit their current plans’ and Chester Zoo has ignored all approaches. However, cathedrals and smaller museums have led the way in saying yes.”


Marshall continued: “It’s time that all tourist attractions switched souvenir chocolate to a certified Fairtrade blend. The Fair Tourism Bar Campaign, which we support, is aiming to make this the final year of unfair tourist chocolate in UK attractions. It can be done. Customers did something similar in the 1980s by convincing supermarkets to stock Fairtrade products or switch their own brands to Fairtrade.”


Leicester Cathedral was the first to offer a Fair-trade gift bar – celebrating Richard III (pictured). This was followed by Liverpool, Peterborough, St Paul’s, Salisbury, Lichfield, Exeter, Oxford and Canterbury cathedrals. The Scottish Parliament building was the first parliament in the world to say yes to a Fairtrade gift bar.


Lincoln Castle led the way for castles and Castell Henllys was the first ancient monument site to make the switch. King’s College, Cambridge was the first college to take up Faitrade. The Welsh Oriel Gallery was the first gallery to switch. The Bronte Parsonage Museum, the Moyses Hall Museum and Elizabeth Gaskell’s House have also commissioned bars.


To join the Fair Tourism Bar Campaign you can sign the petition, nominate an attraction at the campaign website or write, message or Facebook your favourite attraction asking them to make the switch to fair tourist bars.


Stephen Goddard


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