September 29, 2017 | Winnipeg, MB. Today the City of Winnipeg joins a global movement to drive social and environmental sustainability by becoming Canada’s 25th Fair Trade Town. The city joins more than 1,500 communities around the world as a supporter of fairer conditions and better wages for the farmers and workers who make and grow the products we import from the Global South.
“Today is a day to celebrate. Achieving Fair Trade Town status shows just how many people in Winnipeg are committed to supporting the fair trade movement, which has improved the quality of life of millions of people in the developing world,” said Donna Dagg, chair of the Fair Trade Winnipeg steering committee.
“The hope is that, with milestones like this, we can encourage more Winnipeggers to make ethical and sustainable choices and ensure the fair trade movement continues to grow.”
Fair Trade Winnipeg’s campaign to make Winnipeg a fair trade city began in 2014 after a research study showed positive support for fair trade in the city. Since launching the campaign, the committee has held numerous events, presentations and activities to raise awareness about fair trade.
“After years of hard work and dedication, I am proud to welcome Winnipeg into the Fair Trade Town community! Since launching the campaign in 2014, the steering committee has volunteered countless hours to educate local grocery stores, retailers, workplaces and individuals on the exploitation that lives within their supply chains and purchasing habits,” said Sean McHugh, executive director of the Canadian Fair Trade Network. “Winnipeg’s passion and drive has sparked other fair trade campaigns across the province of Manitoba, and has served as a means of inspiration across the country.”
“What a pleasure to be able to celebrate Winnipeg’s Fair Trade Town designation! A great deal of work and commitment has gone into this campaign and it’s a huge achievement to be applauded,” said Mélissa Dubé, outreach and marketing manager at Fairtrade Canada. “On behalf of more than 1.6 million Fairtrade producers in the Global South, a huge heartfelt congratulations and most importantly – thank you for demanding better and fairer trade conditions.”
To become a Fair Trade Town, the city must have availability of fair trade products, support from groups within the community, programming to raise awareness about fair trade, and political support from City Council. In Winnipeg, there are 166 stores carrying fair trade products and 54 restaurants offering fair trade options. City Council gave their support in May 2017 and will begin serving only Fairtrade-certified coffee, tea and sugar at all food service locations managed by the city.