Could Your Town be the next Fair Trade Town?

Be a part of the local and global community: Join over 1,000 Fair Trade Towns and Cities around the world!

10/21/2011 - 11:02 AM

Our communities play a crucial role in growing the Fair Trade Movement in the United States, and across the country Fair Trade supporters are making a difference, not just by converting their own purchases to Fair Trade but by working with offices, schools, community organizations and retailers to convert theirs as well.

Fair Trade Towns USA is a national campaign uniting community organizers and passionate consumers from across the country who are dedicated to the principles of Fair Trade. By organizing our communities at the local level we are able to make a tangible impact on the U.S. market, creating the demand for justice and equity for producers, artisans, farmers, and workers around the world. As part of a global movement, there are now more than 1,000 Fair Trade Towns worldwide and the movement has spread rapidly across the United States.


Five Steps to Becoming a Fair Trade Town:

Fair Trade Town campaigns bring together community members, retailers, community organizations and town government to build awareness of Fair Trade and achieve special recognition for their efforts. The “Fair Trade Town” designation provides a permanent platform for continued outreach and education to build the Fair Trade Movement and deepen each community’s commitment to international justice. Working with both the “grassroots” and “grasstops,” Fair Trade Towns USA offers tools and resources to help towns and cities achieve Fair Trade status and work towards the common goal of making Fair Trade products the standard in the U.S., one community at a time.


To earn Fair Trade status for your Town follow the “5 Steps to Success”:

1.      Form a steering committee that meets regularly and runs the campaign

2.      Increase Fair Trade product availabilty through outreach to retailers

3.      Demonstrate support from local organizations, schools and places of worship

4.      Attract local media attention for the campaign to increase awareness

5.      Achieve passage of a resolution supporting Fair Trade by the town council or local governing body

Check out the growing list of Fair Trade Town Campaigns to see if one already exists in your community.


Where do I Begin?

Any campaign can succeed if it has enough community support and the first step is to build your team!  If a campaign doesn’t already exist in your city/town, here are a few places that you can start:

  • Identify the supporters and potential supporters of Fair Trade that are already out there in your community.  This could be retailers who are selling Fair Trade products, church groups that serve Fair Trade coffee at their meetings, or an elementary school teacher who uses Fair Trade curriculum.  Fair Trade Towns USA is happy to provide you with a list of previous event hosts, Fair Trade Certified licensees and members and retailers of the Fair Trade Federation in your community to get you started.  Just email the National Coordinator for a list of contacts in your area.

  • Some find that the best way to get started is by planning an event, such as a Fair Trade holiday sale, or to collaborate with an existing event, such as tabling at a Farmer’s Market to start talking to people about Fair Trade Towns. Print out our customizable Campaign Petition Sign-up Form to begin growing your network.


Ready to Organize?

Organizing a Fair Trade Town campaign is no small undertaking, but we suspect you will find it enriching, engaging and rewarding as you proceed through the steps, make new connections with members of your community, and organize together to improve the lives of farmers and workers around the world.

If you think you have what it takes, contact the National Coordinator of Fair Trade Towns USA, Billy Linstead Goldsmith -

10/21/2011 - 11:02 AM
10/19/2011 - 11:00 AM