Fairtrade Towns in Cumbria

What is a Fairtrade Town?

A Fairtrade Town is any community in which people and organisations use their everyday choices to increase sales of Fairtrade products and bring about positive change for farmers and workers in developing countries. We can all make a difference by supporting trade that works for development each time we shop. A Fairtrade Town builds on what we as individuals can do by bringing people together to send a collective message. Becoming a Fairtrade Town is a shared achievement and an opportunity for local government, schools, businesses, community organisations and activists to work together. Through doing so, each individual action adds up to make even more of a difference to farmers in developing countries.

Each Fairtrade Town is unique. Some begin with a group of committed activists persuading friends, family and local shops to get involved. Others are started by a local authority as a way of taking practical action around their commitments to sustainable development. Since Garstang - a small town in the North West of England - declared itself the first Fairtrade Town in 2000, over 750 communities in three continents have worked to promote Fairtrade, increase sales of Fairtrade products and ensure more farmers in developing countries get a fair deal.

To become a Fairtrade town or area you must meet the following five criteria:

  1. The local council passes a resolution supporting Fairtrade and agrees to serve Fairtrade coffee and tea at its meetings and in its offices and canteens.
  2. A range of Fairtrade products is readily available in the area's shops and local cafes/catering establishments.
  3. Fairtrade products are used by a number of local work places and community organisations.
  4. The town attracts media coverage and popular support for the campaign.
  5. A local Fairtrade Steering Group is convened to ensure continued commitment to its Fairtrade Town status.

For more details of how to become a Fairtrade Town, visit the Fairtrade Foundation website.

The current situation on Fairtrade communities on 17th March 2010 is that there are a total 767 towns, cities, villages and zones in 18 countries of which 460 are in the UK, 43 in Ireland, 238 in the rest of Europe, 13 in the USA, 8 in Canada, 2 in Australia, 2 in New Zealand and 1 in Brazil.

London, Dublin, Brussels, Rome, Copenhagen, Paris and Wellington (NZ) are Fairtrade capital cities.

Cumbria has more Fairtrade communities than any other county, currently it has a total of 21 (including the county itself). In order of receiving the award these are: Kendal, Millom, Windermere & Bowness, Brampton, Keswick, Carlisle, Lakes Parish, Eden Valley, Cumbria, Grange-over-Sands, Egremont, Kirkby Lonsdale, Ulverston, Gosforth & Wasdale, Barroe-in-Furness, Conston and Torver, Cockermouth, Caldbeck and Hesket Newmarket, Wigton, Arnside and Hadrianís Wall.