In April 2000 the people of Garstang declared their small market town in Lancashire the world’s first Fairtrade Town. Garstang has inspired hundreds of communities since then and Fairtrade Towns are springing up in Canada, the United States, France, Ireland, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Brazil and beyond. In the UK, Fairtrade Towns are at the forefront of a unique people’s movement for change, with places from Birmingham to Bristol, Fair Isle to Carlisle, Durham to Dundee working to promote Fairtrade.
Fairtrade is about bringing the farmer and the shopper closer together. It’s about putting people at the heart of trade. Becoming a Fairtrade Town sends a powerful message about how your community wants trade to work and will directly benefit some of the world’s poorest farmers and workers through increasing awareness and sales of Fairtrade in your area. People power works and Fairtrade Towns have been essential in building support for Fairtrade across the UK. A study funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)1 found that the most effective campaigns to encourage ethical shopping are those that take place at a collective level, such as the creation of Fairtrade Cities, rather than those that only target individual behaviour.
A Fairtrade Town is any community that:
Supports Fairtrade and deepens understanding of the benefits Fairtrade brings
Takes action by choosing Fairtrade products whenever possible and encourages others to do likewise
Achieves and continues to take action on the five Fairtrade Town goals set by the Fairtrade Foundation.