When I first began to plan my business, a goal I had in mind was to see Kitchener a designated a Fair Trade Town with Fair Trade Canada’s Fair Trade Town program. Two years into opening the store I now want to start that project and have Kitchener better support fair trade in our community.
“The Fair Trade Town program recognizes municipalities demonstrating a strong commitment to fair trade from it’s community stakeholders, including local municipal authorities (such as city council), businesses, community groups and individual members. It has a long term vision of awareness and support for fair trade and has been designed to address the needs and opportunities available from a range of different communities large and small across Canada.”
It involves providing awareness to the public through community events, festivals, schools, churches and any other community organization. Local businesses need to participate and are encouraged to either start selling a fair trade product or to provide even more options to their customers. City council needs to commit to using only fair trade coffee, sugar and any other possible products in all city provided food services.
Our steering committee which consists of myself, Christian Malleck, Rebecca Morgan, Emily Shields and Lauren Simon recently had our very first meeting. I have to admit that I was worried I wouldn’t find anyone to join my cause, but here we are, five people connected through friendships, church and a past or present job with Ten Thousand Villages.
Step one is complete, now we need volunteers. Community members that will help us to promote fair trade and our campaign within the city of Kitchener. We need volunteers to provide their skills, talents and community connections to promote our fair trade message and create a more socially conscious city.