9th International Fair Trade Towns Conference

In July Janet and Phyllis joined Fairtrade campaigners from around the world at the International Fair Trade Towns Conference in Bristol. Here you can find out more about the trip.

Our friends at fairandfunky in Holmfirth had been commissioned to re-create the conference logo which reflected the conference theme of ‘Fairtrade for Sustainability’. The upcycled logo using Fairtrade packaging, real Fairtrade products and Fairtrade faces from around the world was very well received.

The original logo combined the Fairtrade colours in speech bubbles, connected by Fairtrade products, and their logo developed this idea a little further.


We are grateful to Helen and Sophie at  www.fairandfunky.com for allowing us to use extracts from their excellent report of the conference.

For full report see  http://www.fairandfunky.com/fairtrade-for-sustainability-a-bristol-review/

Their review of the Conference looks at each speech bubble …(from left to right)


1 – The Fairtrade products and producers

(made using Fairtrade packaging from Traidcraft, Café Direct and Divine Chocolate)

Perhaps the biggest threat to the lives of small holder producers across the world is climate change.

We heard directly from Fatima Ismael, an Agricultural Engineer from Nicaragua, how climate change is a real problem: An increase in global temperatures of just 3˚C will destroy coffee crops and livelihoods for producers. Climate change is a dominant factor of the lives of producers who are seeing a global drop in harvests, bees not producing honey, coffee losing leaves and hailstorms destroying tea crops.

 ‘Fairtrade for Sustainability’ is so important for small holder producers.

Fairtrade International is developing ambitious programs to help farmers adapt by

  • learning new planting techniques
  • creating a new Carbon Credit scheme
  • multi-nationals investments in producer communities
  • working alongside farmers to protect indigenous species, maintain biodiversity and improve yields

2 – The Fairtrade Consumers

(made using Fairtrade catalogues and images of children, drawn by children, of themselves with their favourite Fairtrade product!)

 We heard from Marks and Spencer that they alone have over 21 million customers. Imagine the power of that consumer spend if they all asked for a Fairtrade tea, coffee, or t-shirt and bought Fairtrade.

 Harriet Lamb described Fairtrade as the global version of ‘Shop Local’. Both Fairtrade, and ‘shop local’ campaigns put people back into trade, allowing consumers to deal directly with producers: Putting those who grow the food closer to those who eat it; putting those who make the products closer to the people who use them every day.

 As consumers we can be a global movement for change. Buying Fairtrade, shopping local, connects us directly to producers; and ensures profits are ploughed back into communities, improving livelihoods and making trade fair.

 3- The Fairtrade Campaigners

(images of Fairtrade campaigners from around the world photographed with their favourite Fairtrade product!)

 As Fairtrade campaigners we need to keep innovating, keep listening, and keep the pressure on companies and governments.

In September, world leaders will get together in New York to sign the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) replacing the Millennium Goals. It is imperative that these new global goals focussing on people and the environment recognise the importance of ‘Fairtrade for Sustainability’. Market growth must be inclusive and not continue to leave people behind. Economic growth is about all people and their lives. Fairtrade plays a key role.

 Linda McAvan MEP reminded the conference that The SDGs will apply to all nations, not just developing countries. Growing inequality is a global problem and it is a joint responsibility to tackle global problems together. Governments need to take responsibility for global inequality seriously and we, as campaigners, need to challenge them to do so.

 4 – Together we change the world

 There are huge challenges facing Fairtrade producers, and the voices of ordinary people need to be heard. Together we need to commit to redouble our efforts to get big changes in global governance; and together we need to bring the producer voice to the fore to change the world.

At the close of the conference we, alongside all other delegates from 20 countries, signed a resolution demonstrating our commitment to Fairtrade.

We were challenged to take this to our local leaders and policy makers. Mossley and Tameside councils we are our way!

Fairtrade producers need you the consumer and the campaigner to commit to Fairtrade.

For more information on Fairtrade and the Sustainable Development Goals visit: http://www.fairtrade.org.uk/en/get-involved/current-campaigns/show-your-hand

Many thanks to fairandfunky friends visit them  at www.fairandfunky.com. Featured photo is by Jon Craig.

The Conference had high standards of sustainability; the venue had cutting-edge environmentally friendly credentials, public transport was used whenever possible and all food and drink was sourced ethically.

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