Interview with Bruce, founder of the FairTradeTowns campaign

Bruce, why did you think it was necessary to not only focusing on products as Fairtrade, but also involve cities in the Fair Trade-movement?

- 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 Kinghdom 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.


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