This afternoon City Council passed a motion to support Fair Trade, making Vancouver the first major city in Canada to achieve “Fair Trade Town” status.
The application process has taken about a year however this afternoon’s vote sealed the deal. From a press release issued today, “The city’s endorsement of the application was the last step required by TransFair Canada to bestow Trade Town status on Vancouver. This award officially recognizes two decades of work by local and international Fair Trade supporters, as well as a civic ethical purchasing policy that was enacted in 2005.”
Mayor Gregor Robertson said, “We want to be the greenest city in the world, and a part of that is ensuring that our goods and services are produced and delivered in a responsible way.”
This Saturday May 8th, World Fair Trade Day is being celebrated at the Ten Thousand Villages store on Granville Island (1660 Duranleau Street).
Participate in a drumming circle, thrill to African Dancing with Jackie Essombe and friends and hear about Vancouver’s bid to become the first major city in Canada to gain “Fair Trade Town” status. Have a slice of Fair Trade birthday cake made by students from the Pacific Institute for Culinary Arts, to be served in the store at 2:00pm along with Fair Trade coffee.
In honor of this recent achievement there will be a ceremony from 1:00pm – 2:00pm outside the store with speeches from City Councilors and representative of the Fair Trade Movement. World Fair Trade Day events will then continue at the Improv Centre from 2:30pm until 4:00pm.
Fair Trade is an alternative and ethical way of doing business with the developing world. Unlike conventional trade which seeks to obtain the lowest possible prices for imported products â€“ no matter what this means for the quality of life of farmers and producers â€“ Fair Trade seeks to ensure that farmers are able to live a life of dignity.
You can read more on FairTradeVancouver.ca, the website of a non-profit group that hosts meetups and provides information about where to buy Fair Trade products in Vancouver. They are also on Twitter @Fair_Trade_Van.