Fair Trade Town Program

FT Town LogoThe Fair Trade Town program recognizes municipalities demonstrating strong commitment to fair trade from its community stakeholders, including local municipal authorities (such as a city council), businesses, community groups, and individual members. It has a long-term vision for awareness and support of fair trade, and has been designed to address the needs and opportunities available from a range of different communities, large and small, across Canada. The Fair Trade Town program in Canada is part of a global movement that, as of 2017, recognizes close to 2,000 around the world. 

Fair Trade Town Requirements

  1. Fair Trade Town Steering Committee
  2. Product Availability
  3. Public Awareness and Education
  4. Community Support
  5. Political Support

Submitting an Application

The Fair Trade Town Steering Committee is responsible for meeting all requirements of the Fair Trade Town Designation and for submitting the application. Fair Trade Towns Designations are awarded based on a joint review by Fairtrade Canada, the Canadian Fair Trade Network (CFTN) and the Association Québécoise du Commerce Équitable (AQCÉ). Applications should be sent to communications(at)fairtrade.cainfo(at)cftn.ca and info(at)assoquebecequitable.org.

Looking Forward

We want to see Fair Trade Town committees lead the grassroots fair trade movement. Members of your Town groups represent municipalities, schools, campuses, faith groups, businesses, etc.—people who are actively engaged in the movement. As the number of Fair Trade Towns grows, so too will the demand for fair trade products in Canada. At the CFTN, looking forward, our role will be to support and empower Fair Trade Town groups as they lead and advise the grassroots movement.

We want to help grow Fair Trade Town designations.

  • Our goal is to have 50 Fair Trade Towns designated by December 2020, which will include all major Canadian cities 

We will help promote program involvement through various means of community outreach and relationship building.

  • We will partner with like-minded organizations, e.g., Engineers Without Borders (EWB), the Municipal Collaboration for Sustainable Procurement (MCSP)
  • Attend conferences, e.g., Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) conference, to build relationships to support community outreach within the program
  • We will provide support to help town groups drive campaigns including Fairtrade Month, World Fair Trade Day, and the Canadian Fairtrade Awards

We will support long-term group sustainability, success, and leadership within Fair Trade Town committees. 

  • We will be in contact with committees through monthly webinars and yearly in-person visits
  • We will encourage and support town groups to transition into self-sufficient non-profits organizations 
  • We will create an advocacy fund to provide monetary support for community outreach and egagement efforts
  • We will support committees by developing post-designation marketing materials, e.g., brochures and point-of-sale information cards
  • The designation renewal process will be streamlined to include an effective and useful monitoring and evaluation framework

We want to help town groups entrench fair trade within municipal policies.

  • We will work with advocates, city councillors, and municipal purchasing teams to develop policies for sustainable procurement
  • The necessary supporting resources will be developed, which will include a sustainable purchasing guide and purchasing policy tools
  • We will connect with organizations and individuals working on sustainable public procurement
  • Quantifiable purchasing data will be collected during the designation renewal process to influence further policy reform 
We want to push it beyond purchasing!
  1. Our municipalities shouldn’t invest in companies and commodities (i.e., fossil fuels) that harm people or the planet. We will work with Fair Trade Town groups to challenge municipalities to reconsider their investment strategies. We will partner with divestment campaigns, work with policy makers, and promote sustainable investment
  2. We will coordinate local/regional participation in national federal advocacy campaigns. We will work to engage local MPs to drive campaigns for sustainable public procurement, official development assistance (ODA) spending on fair trade co-ops, trade policy reform, the adoption of Fair Trade Nation standards, and consumer labelling reform