And we’re getting close. This past week Winnipeg’s Executive Policy Committee looked at the feasibility of meeting the requirements of that designation. They include changing the city’s coffee and tea suppliers to be 100 per cent fair trade, identifying future goals for sourcing fairtrade products, assigning a council or staff member a role on the steering committee, and publishing Fair Trade info on the city website.
Earlier this month another Manitoba town made the commitment to support Fair Trade: Selkirk joined Gimli (certified in 2009) and Brandon (certified in 2014).
So why would a city want to support Fair Trade? Lotsa reasons:
- To be distinguished as a leader and to confirm a commitment to supporting the principles of fair trade, including a fair price, respect for labour standards, environmental sustainability, and more direct and equitable trade
- To improve the livelihoods of the millions of farmers and workers in the developing world through the benefits of fair trade
- To create awareness and encourage local consumers to make ethical and sustainable choices
Buying Fair Trade products might be easier than you think. Check out this handy list of places that sell Fair Trade products – some of them might even surprise you, like your local grocery store or liquor mart. Plus it’s more than just coffee and tea, look for Fair Trade spices, fruit, chocolate, handicrafts, clothing, accessories even furniture.
Here are a few ways to get involved with the Fair Trade Movement.
At Home: Buy Fair Trade Certified products for home whenever you can – coffee, tea, hot chocolate, sugar, chocolate, spices, dried fruit, sports balls, wine & spirits, the list is of available products is growing!
At Work: Serve fair trade products in the staff room and give fair trade gifts on special occasions! If your business or institution does large-scale procurement, look into sourcing fair trade in bulk.
Eating & Shopping: talk to your favourite coffee shop or grocery store about fair trade. More and more are interested in serving the ethical consumer market!
On Campus or at your Kid’s School: tell the local school or college administration about the Fair Trade Schools program and how they can learn more about fair trade and switch to fair trade products.
Team, Class or Staff: Fair Trade apparel: Look into sourcing Fair Trade Certified t-shirts and other garments as they become available.
Just keep an eye out for the FT label. It’s that simple.