UK: 10 years of Fairtrade Towns
by Redaktion (comments: 0)
Fairtrade campaigners from around the world will descend on Garstang, Lancashire, UK, during the week-end to mark the 10th anniversary of a global initiative first launched at a public meeting in April 2000 as a way of getting people, churches, schools and businesses to buy Fairtrade products in order to support producers and their communities in developing countries. Bruce Crowther, who was the founding member of the Garstang group and is now Fairtrade Towns Advisor for the Fairtrade Foundation, said: "When we first launched our campaign our aim was simply to get people to help make trade fairer for farmers from developing countries. We never envisioned that we would inspire people around the world to do the same and campaign within their communities to make people’s shopping habits more ethical."
Garstang Town Council’s resolution to use Fairtrade products whenever possible and the action of the Garstang community to support their town as a Fairtrade Town was the basis for the five goals later developed by the Fairtrade Foundation, which any town, city, village, island, borough, county or zone, wishing to call itself Fairtrade, works towards today. So well-known is the Fairtrade Towns movement that birthday well wishers include Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who says: „Your town has been an inspiration to so many over the past decade and I wish you many more successful years challenging us all to make a difference.“ Events will be attended by campaigners from Japan and Germany, with live video links with Garstang’s linked community of New Koforidua in Ghana and Media, the first Fair Trade Town in the USA.
In the last ten years, the Fairtrade Towns movement has grown rapidly and now numbers almost 500 Fairtrade Towns in the UK, and 320 Fair Trade Towns around the rest of the world. The UK boasts the biggest Fairtrade City in the world: London, with 22 out of its 32 Boroughs achieving Fairtrade status. International Fairtrade cities now include Paris, Brussels, Copenhagen, Rome, Wellington and San Francisco - all working together as part of a collective peoples’ push, to change the way trade is done. In the last ten years, Fairtrade sales in the UK have grown from almost 33 million £ to an estimated retail value of over 799 million £, and there are now more than 4,500 Fairtrade certified products available.
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