Fair Trade Towns movement started 20 years ago


This week 27th April 2020 Fair Trade Town campaigners and national coordinators celebrated the Fair Trade towns 20th Anniversary with a celebration call that had participants from 16 countries and 4 continents. The meeting was held by Fig Tree and the founder of Fair Trade Town Campaign Bruce Crowther hosted it.

20 years ago, 27th April 2000 was the date of the public meeting when the people of Garstang declared their town the world’s first Fair Trade Town. How did it all start? Bruce Crowther, the founder of Fair Trade Town movement tells:

"- When I moved to Garstang in 1992 I formed the local Oxfam Group and we soon became involved in promoting Fairtrade ahead of the launch of the FAIRTRADE Mark in the United Kingdom in 1994. This was difficult however and in the early days we could not even get the local churches to use Fairtrade products. So for Fairtrade Fortnight in the year 2000 we had an idea to invite all the key stakeholders in the community (councillors, heads of churches and schools, local businesses and Chamber of Trade etc) to a meal composed of Fairtrade and local produce. We did not want people to pay for the meal or even give a donation, but instead we wanted them to promise to buy and use Fairtrade and local produce whenever they could. We ended up with all the schools, churches and 95% of all businesses signing a pledge and that was when we realised we had in fact created a Fair Trade Town with all aspects of the local community involved. At the annual Public Meeting in April 2000 the people of Garstang self-declared their town as the world’s first Fair Trade Town and it all exploded after that."

It did explode indeed. Today there are over 2000 Fair Trade Towns across the globe.

Read the whole interview of Bruce Crowther: http://fairtradetowns.org/20-news-events-conferences/308-exclusive-interview-with-bruce-crowther-the-founder-of-fair-trade-town-movement