UBC Fair MobAn effective campaign connects the efforts of individuals and groups and demonstrates a critical mass of support to strengthen the collaborative efforts of businesses, institutional leaders, and community members. They help motivate and encourage participants to take ownership of their contributions to meaningful change.

The CFTN is committed to providing network members with the tools and information required to carry out successful campaigns. Learn about current and past campaigns via the left sidebar. 

For questions and suggestions, email info(at) 


Public Engagement – Strategy and Ideas

These notes are an ongoing set of ideas, they have been collaboratively compiled through discussions, meetings, phone calls and webinars. They will be updated and shared regularly.

**The below information is also available as a pdf document; it can be downloaded here

Activity and Event Ideas

1. Hold an annual soiree, gathering, celebration or recognition day/night

  • Have Music, Snacks and Speakers.
  • Ensure that there is a fundraising component (ticket sales, drink sales, silent auction).
  • Celebrate Fair Trade Towns status.
  • Re-engage the municipality.
  • Raise a Fair Trade Town Flag at city hall.
  • Kick off the annual Fair Trade Towns Renewal Process (report due July 1 of each year).

2. Host regular events

  • Plan events around the Fairtrade category of the Month with unique panels and speaking events, or film showings.
  • Run a Carrot Mob – Convince a local retailer, café of shop to switch over to fair trade products, then pick a day and drive traffic to that store – in essence, rewarding that business for making the switch through increased traffic, awareness and sales.
  • Host or plan happy hour gatherings or lunch and learns.
  • Fashion shows.
  • Bake sales.
  • Challenge people to bring in photos or packing of fair trade products and post them on a community bulletin board.

3. Partner with existing events

  • Other non-profits and community partners.
  • Tradeshows and conferences – bring fair trade to it, or set up part of the show as a fair trade section.
    • Has been accomplished at EPIC sustainability expo in Vancouver, the Green Living Show in Toronto, and Expo Manger Santé et Vivre Vert in Montreal.
  • Be at or partner with your local farmer's market.
  • Work with your municipal sustainability office and organize or attend sustainable community events. 

4. Extend reach by connecting Town, Campus, School and Event efforts

  • Fair Trade Town – Build a community around becoming designated, and use it to push for greater change. Engage politicians, purchasers and decision makers. Overhaul policies
  • Fair Trade Campus – Work with colleges and universities, along with students, admin and food services to change procurement practices and engage thousands of students. Redefine campus sustainable development objectives and investigate investment practices.
  • Fair Trade School – Work with high schools and elementary schools on educational goals, products and awareness.
  • Fair Trade Event – Encourage an event in your town or city to become designated. 
    • Examples of past Fair Trade Events include The Canada Games, The Vancouver International soccer festival, and Polytechnique Montreal’s 15th Annual Research Day. 
  • Fair Trade Workplace – Encourage workplaces to create opportunities both for farmers and workers in developing countries. Create competition between workplaces in your community to achieve Fair Trade designation. 
    • Designated Fair Trade Workplaces include The Winnipeg Airport Authority, The City of Selkirk, The Marquis Project and many others.
  • Fair Trade Faith Group – Work with congregations in your community on becoming designated though achieving engagement and product availability goals. 

5. Use Campaigns to coordinate and drive the message

  • My Fair Valentine – Say Happy Valentines day by giving that special someone something Fair Trade. From chocolate, to wine, to flowers, the options are endless.
  • Fairtrade Month- Fairtrade Month is the biggest time of the year to celebrate everything Fairtrade and spread the word about our promotions, Fairtrade product categories and the farmers and workers that we work with.
    • Takes place annually during the month of May.
    • Get your event listed on the Fairtrade Canada website by sending information to action(at)  
  • World Fair Trade Day– World Fair Trade Day brings together the fair trade movement in a global day of activation for real change.
    • Takes place on the second Saturday of May each year.
    • To help others learn about what events or activities are happening locally, add your event/activity to Fairtrade Canada’s What’s Going On section by sending your information to action(at)
  • Canadian Fairtrade awards– Attend or spread the word online, with the annual Fairtrade Awards.
    • The 2017 Awards will be taking place on Saturday 25th February in Halifax, Nova Scotia during the Canadian Fair Trade Network’s 5th National Conference.
  • Fair Trade Campus Week- An opportunity to celebrate the fair trade movement and Fairtrade certified products in Campuses across Canada.
    • Celebrated annually, during the last week of September
  • Fair Trade Halloween – Educate community members on Fair Trade chocolate and candy options.
  • Start your own campaign - We would love to hear any ideas you may have around developing a potential Fair Trade campaign. 
    • Contact us to discuss this opportunity further at info(at) or action(at) 

6. Start a petition

  • Digital or print, to show community support for your initiative
  • Visit for print petition templates. 

7. Use Fair Trade Magazine


  • Order copies of the Fair Trade Magazine.
  • Broaden your message by getting them out through partner groups and organizations.
  • Engage companies, distributors, retailers and politicians by dropping off copies.
  • Take them to libraries, offices and other public places.

8. Product donations

  • Seek donations from companies, and consider using a sponsorship level tier system to show them the visibility they will receive in return.
  • Use them at events to engage community members and key stakeholders. 

9. Host a producer

  • Look into the possibility of having farmers visit your community. 

10. Engage the retail sector

  • Connect with your local stores who carry Fair Trade certified retial. 
    • Encourage them to increase the variety and quantity of Fair Trade certified products in their store. 
  • Set up a retail pop up store or marketplace.

11. Engage media and use social media to spread your message even further 

  • Social media.
    • Use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and email signature banners.
    • Create event or campaign hashtags.
    • Share photos of individuals with Fairtrade products for Fairtrade Month.
    • Take Selfies with Fairtrade products and post/tweet about them.
    • #FtMay2015, #MaiFt2015, #FairTrade, #CommerceÉquitable.
    • For World Fair Trade Day, join the global movement by following hashtags: #WorldFairTradeDay, #JournéeMondialeCommerceÉquitable.
  • Press briefings – Hold one before and at the end of an event.
  • Media Advisory – write and submit releases to your local media before an event, to ensure they get released. 
  • Write stories for local papers, blogs or magazines.
  • Setup photo booths at events, get people posing with mascots (maybe bananas) and then share them on social media channels.    

12. CFTN National Conference

  • Attend the annual gathering!
  • Engage your community by encouraging individuals to attend the conference.
  • Host a live stream of conference sessions.
  • Meet with conference goers from your region to discuss strategy and learning. opportunities leading in and coming out of the conference.
  • Details can be found here.  

13. Engage your local celebrity and get them onboard

  • Broaden and diversify your reach and audience. 

Funding Ideas for Community Groups

  1. Attach funding components to annual events, through ticket sales, drink sales, raffles and silent auction.
  2. Launch membership to your organization or group, and charge an annual fee.
  3. Connect with your municipality, and work with them as a municipal committee, which will allow you to have access to funds for community engagement.
    1. Completed by Fair Trade Olds (Alberta).
  4. Aviva Community Fund – often has small grants for community engagement.
  5. Work with campus partners to access opportunities through your local university or college. 
  6. Connect with your local credit union, as they often have community engagement opportunities.
    1. Vancity in BC and Assiniboine in Manitoba are two examples.
  7. Put in place accountability mechanisms such as a board of directors, and register as a non-profit.
    1. Hold Annual General Meetings to ensure financial management by tracking funds, revenue, and expenses.  
    2. Charity Village manages a database for non-profit funding opportunities. 

Requested materials, tools and resources

  • Email info(at) and action(at) or visit and for more information on the following;

    • Fair Trade Program specific materialsRegular promotional materials: window clings, buttons and stickers.
      • Proud to be a Fair Trade Town/Campus/School Flag
      • Signs, Banners and Posters
      • FT Town/Campus/School/Event/Workplace/Faith Group logos.
    • Sample policies and motions.
    • Topic specific webinars.

 Fairtrade Canada offers regular promotional materials that they would love to send to you! Visit their website for more information. 

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