Fair Trade Olds
Olds was officially designated as a Fair Trade town on Nov. 9, becoming the first in Alberta.
"It’s kind of another notch in our sustainability belt and as far as Alberta goes I think we’ve got many more notches in it than any other rural town has. I think that’s really exciting," said Kristin Allan, a member of the Fair Trade Olds Committee, which spearheaded the effort to become a Fair Trade town. Allan said Olds has been a leader in sustainability and becoming a Fair Trade town is another step in social, economic and cultural sustainability of the town.
Allan said the committee believes local agriculture is extremely important to the community and supports it wherever possible. She said most of the products included in Fair Trade are not in competition with local goods because most of the Fair Trade goods, such as coffee, can’t be grown locally. "Every time we set foot in a store, the choices we make result in a rippling wave effect around the globe. We can all make better, more educated choices to ensure that those waves are helping and not harming people and our planet," she said.
There are six criteria to becoming a Fair Trade town, including that workplaces, faith groups and schools use and promote Fair Trade certified products and that stores and restaurants serve Fair Trade products.
There are currently about a dozen businesses in Olds that carry Fair Trade Products. If there are any other businesses that offer Fair Trade products, the committee would be interested in knowing who they are by contacting them at email@example.com.
Olds became involved in the Fair Trade movement as a result of committee member and manager of corporate services for the town Nina Gales investigating the possibility.
Allan joined the Olds Advisory Group For Sustainable Living and was asked by Gales to volunteer for the committee.
"She passed the ball to me and I ran with it," Allan added, noting that one of the six criteria for becoming a Fair Trade town was establishing the committee of which she is a member.