AN OXFORDSHIRE village has become one of the first in the county to mark its special status as a Fairtrade Community with new signs.

Wheatley village has marked its Fairtrade status with new signs at the four main road entrances to the village.

The village received notification of its Fairtrade status just before lockdown.

Fairtrade goods help small-scale farmers earn a decent income and village retailers pledged to sell more than four Fairtrade products and some cafes and restaurants now serve Fairtrade tea and coffee. Churches in the area and Wheatley Park School helped steer the village in the direction of going Fairtrade with a bake-off challenge and a Fairtrade wine tasting.

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Chairman of Fairtrade Wheatley, John Guy, founded the village group just two years ago. He said: “We have been delighted by the support of the Wheatley community which has enabled Fairtrade Status to be achieved so quickly.

"This has been one of the few good news stories in an otherwise difficult year and we are hoping the new road signs will encourage villagers and visitors to look for the Fairtrade mark when they buy food and wine this Christmas.”