What does this mean?
“The Fair Trade Towns campaign is an exciting initiative that recognizes communities that actively support Fair Trade, increasing both availability and awareness at the local level.” (fairtrade.ca)To become a Fair Trade Town, the town or city in question must achieve 5 goals and commit to a further 6th. Achieving these goals go a long way in making Fair Trade more visible and more available in the local community. Below you’ll find more information on the steps Guelph took:
1. Political support: The City of Guelph passed a resolution on April 28 to purchase only Fairtrade certified coffee, tea and sugar for all meetings, and in its offices. The City has also committed to allocate a member of its staff to ensure continued commitment to our Fair Trade Town status.
2. Availability of Products: Fair Trade Guelph has surveyed businesses in the area to learn where our citizens can purchase Fair Trade products. They have produced a great brochure to help you find everything from Fair Trade chocolate to fair trade home decor items! You can download the directory here.
3. Community Support: Many groups, organisations and local political figures have shown support for this initative, such as Liz Sandals MPP, Frank Valeriote MP, Grandmothers for Africa, James Gordon (local NDP candidate), Mike Schreiner (local Green candidate), University of Guelph, various churches, Kairos, Wellington Water Watchers, as well as various businesses such as The Flour Barrel, Planet Bean and Grey Rock.
4. Public Education: Fair Trade Guelph has held a number of events, mostly downtown, where they have served free Fair Trade coffee, and chocolate. They have also have also provided information about resources, other Fair Trade products, and magazines about the Fair Trade movement to the public at these events.
5. Fair Trade Town Committee: Guelph’s committee was initiated in 2011 by Helen Drew and Rodrigo Goller. In 2012 Sarah Martin, along with the help of Adam Dee, Gloria Bennet, Jocelyn Kelly, Kelly Hodgins, Joan Thompson, Chris Proctor, moved things forward another step. Volunteers are always welcome, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow us on Facebook or Twitter to learn more.
Other Cities Involved with Fair Trade
Guelph joins a growing list of communities in Canada and around the world who have committed to voting with their purchases to support people being paid fairly and respectfully for their work.There are currently 17 cities listed on fairtrade.ca as Fair Trade Towns (Wolfville, NS was the first in 2007), and another 22 who are running campaigns to be awarded the designation. And they aren’t just small towns – Toronto became a Fair Trade Town last year, as did Vancouver in 2010. Calgary, Ottawa, Montréal and Halifax, among many others, are on their way too!
The final goal that Guelph needs to commit to in their path of becoming a Fair Trade town is to Keep the Momentum. The group is looking forward to more events to raise awareness, connecting with schools and other groups, as well as a campaign to get more Fair Trade products in grocery stores.