Bristol has been successful in its bid to renew its status as a Fairtrade City – an accolade that recognises another three years of work by individuals and organisations across the city to raise awareness on Fair Trade issues and support Fair Trade supply chains.
First designated as a Fairtrade City in 2005, Bristol has long been recognised as an exemplar among Fairtrade communities. On being awarded its renewal, Bristol was commended for its efforts in making Fair Trade part of daily life in the city, and the wide reach of its activity.
In order to achieve and maintain Fairtrade City status, a city must demonstrate its commitment to Fair Trade across five core goals. These include support from local government, visibility in local retail, engagement with local business and community organisations, gaining local media coverage and the convening of a local Fair Trade steering group.
Looking particularly at the last three years of activity, the Fairtrade Foundation – which administrates the awarding of Fairtrade City status in the UK – noted high profile events in Bristol such as the Fairtrade Gold Gala, which raised £4,500 to buy equipment for a gold mining community in Uganda to allow them to mine without the use of mercury.
The Foundation praised the continued impact of the South West Fair Trade Business Awards, Bristol Fair Trade’s flagship event. Their seventh annual awards ceremony, hosted by TV’s Nick Hewer, took place in March and celebrated organisations across the region that support Fair Trade through their supply chains and communications.
A major development for Bristol Fair Trade Network since Fairtrade City status was last renewed has been the organisation’s registration as a Community Interest Company. As well as leading to the creation of a voluntary board of directors to oversee the direction of the network’s activity, its new status has allowed the organisation to successfully apply for a grant to fund a Fair & Local campaign. The campaign will see Fair Trade integrated into the local economic landscape, simultaneously bringing benefits for local business and Fair Trade producers worldwide.
Bristol is continuing to put Fair Trade centre stage with the launch of the citywide Going for Gold campaign, led by Bristol Food Network, Bristol Green Capital Partnership and the Bristol City Council. The campaign, which calls on individuals and organisations across the city to take action to positively transform Bristol’s food system, promotes Fair Trade through its advice on food equality and through signposting to the South West Fair Trade Business Awards. By demonstrating engagement in a wide range of sustainability focussed behaviours, including Fair Trade, Bristol hopes to be recognised as a Gold Sustainable Food City by the end of 2020.
Commenting on Bristol’s successful application for Fairtrade City status, Deputy Mayor Councillor Asher Craig said:
“Bristol is incredibly proud to have maintained its status as a Fairtrade City.
“Fair Trade promotes the rights of small scale farmers across the globe to independence and dignity in their work – these are values which we are proud to support in Bristol, underpinned by the One City Approach and of course, Going for Gold.
“The community support and visibility of Fair Trade campaigns and products across the city, as well as in Bristol City Council, demonstrates that Fair Trade is truly a part of Bristol’s DNA.”
The renewal comes as the FAIRTRADE Mark – the global certification label of Fairtrade International – prepares to celebrate its 25th year. The label is still one of the most recognised and trusted ethical certification schemes on the market today.