Fair Trade Guelph
The City of Guelph was officially designated Canada’s 20th Fair Trade Town on May 12th, 2015. The announcement was made at a flag raising ceremony outside City Hall.
There were many people out to celebrate this event, with music, juggling, coffee, cake, chocolate and bananas. As well, Guelph was honoured to have visiting Mexican farmers share remarks about the impact of fair trade on their communities.
The campaign for Fair Trade Town designation began in 2011, when a small group of passionate people decided to get the ball rolling. By 2014 there were many events to inform the citizens of Guelph of this initiative. Free Fairtrade certified coffee was served at many events and venues, as well as presentations, and movies. A directory was developed showing where fair trade products were available in the City. This status also acknowledges the City’s commitment in supporting fair trade by using Fairtrade certified products.
This work has been supported overwhelmingly by the community. Frank Valeriote, (MP), Liz Sandals (MPP), Grandmothers for Africa, many churches, as well as The University of Guelph, which is already a Fair Trade Designated Campus.
June Hofland, city councillor, who helped the steering committee navigate the process to gain City Hall’s support of the resolution had this to say: “The Fair Trade Town program was met with overwhelming support from the community and I would like to thank our community, our volunteers and the City of Guelph for their contribution in making Guelph a Fair Trade Town. It was an honour and a privilege to work with such an enthusiastic, compassionate group of people”. Fair Trade Guelph also had the support and interest of Bill Stewart, the procurement manager at City Hall.