1,000 Fair Trade Towns Press Release
A growing global grassroots movement marks 1,000 Fair Trade Towns internationally
On Saturday 4 June Bristol will be a part of the international event to celebrate 1,000 Fair Trade Towns worldwide. On this day at 2pm local time Fair Trade Towns and Cities across the world will declare jointly as the 1,000th Fair Trade Towns, so in real time they will declare sequentially from east to west across different time zones. With Kumamoto, Japan declaring as the first Fair Trade Town in Asia and New Koforidua, Ghana as the first Fair Trade Town in Africa, the joint 1,000th declarations will see the establishment of Fair Trade Towns in all six major continents.
Along with key individuals, organisations and other Fair Trade Towns, Bristol Fairtrade Network has demonstrated their support for fair trade by signing up to a policy statement that calls to ‘Make Trade Fair’. The local group have also prepared a photograph with the words ‘Make Trade Fair’ that will be displayed on the international Fair Trade Towns website and presented at the G20 meeting in Paris on 22-23rd June, with the policy statement supporting fairer trade rules.
The Bristol photo was taken on board Brunel’s ss Great Britain, where Bristol was declared a Fairtrade City in 2005. Bristol has since become one of the most successful Fairtrade cities in the world. The Lord Mayor joined representatives from many of Bristol's leading organisations on board ship to declare support for Fairtrade. Brunel’s ss Great Britain itself is a key supporter of Fairtrade, using Fairtrade products wherever possible, in the cafe and for events. The historic ship is an iconic symbol of international trade.
On World Fair Trade Day, earlier this month the President of the European Parliament sent a congratulatory letter to the World Fair Trade Organisation in support of Fair Trade, which included a photo of him with the speech bubble “I support Fair Trade”.
In the UK, where Fair Trade Towns originated there are now over 550 towns, cities, villages, islands, boroughs, counties and zones that have achieved Fairtrade status. Witney, in the constituency of UK Prime Minister David Cameron will be one of the Fair Trade Towns to declare as part of the 1,000 celebrations. In support of fairer trade David Cameron said; “I am a big supporter of the Fairtrade Foundation – it is through trade we can help people to pull themselves out of poverty and ensure farmers and other producers get a fair price for their produce. Therefore, I am delighted that Witney has gained Fairtrade status and very proud that it is the 1000th international Fairtrade town. I look forward to visiting a fair-trade market in the near future."
Notes for Editor
1. Fair Trade Towns started when the people in the small English market town of Garstang declared their community the world’s first Fairtrade Town at a public meeting in April 2000. The Fairtrade Foundation developed the five goals that made it possible for Towns, Cities, Villages, Islands, Boroughs, Counties and Zones to achieve Fairtrade status in the UK. For simplicity all these places are referred to as Fair Trade Towns. The five goals, which have since been adapted for use by over 20 national campaigns are: Local council passes a resolution supporting Fairtrade, and agrees to serve Fairtrade coffee and tea at its meetings and in its offices and canteens; A range of Fairtrade products are readily available in the area’s shops and catering establishments; Fairtrade products are used by a number of local work places and community organizations (churches, schools etc); Attract media coverage and popular support for the campaign; A local Fairtrade Steering Group is convened to ensure commitment to Fairtrade Town status.
2. With the declarations on Saturday 4th June there will be over 1,000 Fair Trade Towns in 22 countries that lie across all six major continents. This will include the cities of: London, Paris, Rome, Brussels, Bonn, Copenhagen, Oslo, Madrid, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston and Wellington.
3. On Saturday 4th June the following Fair Trade Towns will declare jointly at 14.00 local time, so in real time they will declare sequentially from east to west across different time zones.
New Koforidua, Ghana
4. Initially Fair Trade Towns were focused on the consumer in order to increase the sales of fair trade products, but with Fair Trade Towns in Latin America and now Africa we are seeing the advent of ‘Producer Fair Trade Towns’ with producers and consumers campaigning alongside each other in support of fairer trade.
5. The ‘Make Trade Fair’ policy statement can be viewed on the International Fair Trade Towns website www.fairtradetowns.org where representatives from Fair Trade Towns and organisations and individuals can sign up in support of the statement. The names of the signatories along with the ‘Make Trade Fair’ photographs will be presented at the G20 Agricultural Ministerial meeting to be held in Paris on 22 – 23 June.