A GIANT chocolate bar was carried from Stockton High Street to the Tees Barrage at the weekend to mark Fairtrade Fortnight.

The fortnight is an annual event held in support of the farmers and workers who grow our food in developing countries.

The focus of this year’s campaign is about ensuring that cocoa farmers – in particular the women – are paid fairly for their work.

In recognition of this, a giant chocolate bar was transported from Hartlepool to Middlesbrough via Stockton.

On arrival in Stockton High Street, it was handed over to Stockton Mayor Eileen Johnson.

She said: "We’ve been a Fairtrade Borough for more than 10 years and we’re very proud of it. This giant chocolate bar is a fun way of getting across a serious message that almost all cocoa farmers in West Africa live in poverty. If it gets people thinking and talking then that’s a good thing."

Chair of Stockton Fairtrade Borough Partnership, Maureen Rigg, said: “This was a powerful way to show our solidarity with the farmers, particularly women, who are working so hard to bring us our luxury.”

The council is offering Fairtrade products in its food outlets at Preston Park, Wynyard Woodland Park and Stockton Central Library.

The Stockton area was first awarded Fairtrade status in 2007 in recognition of its strong support for Fairtrade.