Fair Grounds, a social enterprise based in Leeds

Fairgrounds LogoFair Grounds is a Fair Trade social enterprise, based in Leeds, see http://shop.fair-grounds.org.uk  We work with artisans around the world to bring their beautiful and hand-crafted gifts, jewellery and homeware to the UK, both for wholesale and retail. We’ve developed long-term relationships with the producers we work with and have seen the positive impact fair trade is having, not only on themselves as individuals, but also for their families and wider communities. Here are 3 stories of people we are working with.

Rag Rug Collective Kenya

Western Kenya

Every week in a small community, a group of women with disabilities known as the Rag Rug Collective meet together to socialise and patiently create vibrant, stunning rag rags using sack cloth and scraps of colourful fabric, off-cuts from a local factory. These rugs vary in size, shape, colour and design but all have one thing in common, made with love and pride they provide an income and empowerment to women who previously had to rely on family and friends for everything.

Mexican Jewellery Cooperative

Taxco, Mexico

A small rural cooperative of 12 women, 10 of who are single mothers, are making a living designing, producing and selling colourful, stylish pewter silver jewellery set with acrylic, shell and stone. Jewellery making is part of their heritage and the traditional skills they use have been passed down through the generations.

“Our mission is to preserve our artisan traditions and to provide for our families. We are proud of every piece we create.” Paula (cooperative member)

Baguio City, The Philippines

Newspapers to be thrown away are gathered up by members of the cooperative who then recycle the old news, skilfully transforming the paper into brand new stylish and hard-wearing tablemats, coasters and photoframes. Since forming on a small scale 20 years ago, the cooperative now provides well paid jobs for over 100 people, in a region where many people are exploited through work.

The Philippines Recycled Newspaper Cooperative


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Regional Conference in York on 19th September

here is Cynthia being tempted by the lovely gifts on the Aztec Arts stall

The regional conference was a busy, lively day, a chance to meet friends from all over Yorkshire. We heard about all the new developments in Fairtrade around the world. Linda McAven MEP told us about Fairtrade dates being grown in a co-operative in the desert in Tunisia and we learnt about the UN sustainability development goals for the future. It was interesting to learn that Fairtrade goods are increasingly being sold in producer countries like South Africa and Brazil and that there is a chain of Fairtrade shops in South Korea.

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Chocolate munching at the Merrion Centre!

P1000240We were delighted to meet so many lovely families at the Merrion Centre on 6th August. Children created wonderful Fair trade badges and munched on chocolate as we chatted about their summer holidays and the benefits of Fairtrade with them and their families.

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Meet us at the Merrion Centre this Thursday

We’re going to be at the Merrion Centre in Leeds on Thursday 6th July from 3pm – 5pm. Come and meet us, we’ll be talking about all things Fairtrade plus having activities for children.  There will be free Fairtrade chocolate for children also. We look forward to saying hello, and finding out how to say ” chocolate” in as many languages as possible.

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Our Beehive Shop needs help

Beehive 1We need volunteers for the Beehive

67 Potternewton Lane, Chapel Allerton, Leeds LS7 3LW

At the moment, we are running on a skeleton staff.  Holidays, illness, moving away, change of working hours deplete the number of volunteers we have to call on to fill the rota. Read more


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Fairtrade stall in Calverley Park

Ruth's stall in CalverleyDiscovered this Fairtrade stall in Calverley Park last Saturday. Calverley Parkside school was holding its summer fair in the park and it was nice to be able to stock up on chocolate and biscuits. Both churches in Calverley support Fairtrade. Our local Methodist church, next to the park, has a Fairtrade stall at their coffee mornings held on the first Saturday of the month. Do pop in if you’re in the area.

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We’re back in the Merrion Centre this Saturday ( 23rd May) from 12 noon till 3pm.  We’ll be making Fairtrade badges and giving out chocolate biscuits!  We’ll also be finding out how to say “chocolate” in lots of different languages. Buying Fairtrade means that the farmers get a fair price when they grow the things we like to eat, like bananas, chocolate, tea, coffee and sugar.

We’ll look forward to meeting you.

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photo8Schools Global Learning recognised! Nine schools across West Yorkshire have been recognised for leading the way in Global Learning, by Leeds DEC Each school has written a Global Learning Charter and taught students to lead Peer Education workshops on Fairtrade, Waste and Garment Workers. As well as educating students, Peer Education workshops such as these promote personal development, inquiry and independent research.

Photo: Ireland Wood Primary School receiving their “Commitment to global learning” certificate from Jane Dowson, Leeds City Council’s deputy executive member for Children and Families, and Paul Brennan, Leeds City Council’s deputy director of Children’s Services
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Mapping Fairtrade in Leeds – a presentation

Come along and watch six final year Theology and Religious Studies students from the University of Leeds, present their research on “Mapping Fairtrade” in Leeds.

Its on Tuesday 28th April from 6pm. to 8pm at Leeds University Business School, Maurice Keyworth Building, seminar room 1.06, Moorland Road, Leeds LS6 1AN

Please register at


Their research specifically looks at Fairtrade activity in Leeds with some form of religious affiliation. The research has been conducted from the start of February 2015, as part of the University of Leeds’ Community Religions Project. The presentation is a snapshot of the research that will be presented in a 10,000 word report which the group will publish in Summer 2015.

Refreshments will be served from 18:00, and the presentation will begin at 18:30 and last for approximately 30 minutes. There will be time for questions after the presentation, as well as further refreshments.

The presentation will be held in Seminar Room 1.06 in the Maurice Keyworth Building of Leeds University Business School. The venue is fully wheelchair accessible, although on site parking is only available for disabled persons. There is ample on-street parking in the surrounding area, or LUBS is just a 20 minute walk from Leeds City Centre.


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Kirkstall St Stephen’s C of E Primary School get busy

cakes at Kirkstall St Stephen's

Well done children of Kirkstall St Stephen’s C of E Primary School. They held a Fairtrade baking competition and you can see some of the delicious entries above. After the competition, the cakes were sold and £50 was raised for Fairtrade.  Some children of Year 5 also taught 3 lessons about Fairtrade cocoa to the children of Years 3,4 and 5. Congratulations to everyone who took part, you’ve certainly been busy.

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