The Common Good
July 2005

Fair Trade Towns

by Rose Marie Berger, Mark Betz | July 2005

Manchester and Salford,

Manchester and Salford, England, jointly became the 100th Fairtrade Towns in March, ushering fairly traded coffees, teas, and chocolates into local cafés and achieving a landmark victory for the growing trade justice movement in Great Britain. "The towns raise awareness and sales of fair trade, which both contribute to tackling poverty and improving the lot of marginalized and disadvantaged farmers," said Bruce Crowther, founder of the Fairtrade Foundation.

Towns must meet five goals to earn fair trade status: Pass a council resolution in favor of fair trade and serve fair trade coffee and teas at their meetings, make fair trade products available in shops, use fair trade products in local workplaces, convene a steering committee to oversee the project, and generate popular support. However, local commitment is only part of the equation. Farmers around the world, for whom just trade policy allows economic sustainability, complete the balance. "Fair trade is not just about selling and buying," said Tadesse Meskella, general manager of Oromia Coffee Farmers’ Cooperative Union, whose Ethiopian farmers benefit from fair trade. "It is creating a global family."

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