The Fair Trade Towns campaign is an expanding nationwide phenomenom
In fact, as of late last summer,
Boston is officially a ‘Fair Trade Town’!
Thanks to the efforts of the Fair Trade Boston coalition and the people of Greater Boston, our fair city is exactly that! In August 2010, the city of Boston officially met all of the criteria necessary to achieve the designation of being a ‘Fair Trade Town.’ To learn what exactly makes Boston a Fair Trade Town, keep reading below…
Boston is just the 20th city in the country to become a Fair Trade Town and the 2nd largest by far (after San Francisco). Reaching this status in 2010 was a primary initiative of our two-year-old coalition and campaign. On September 10, we celebrated downtown on the steps of the Prudential Center with a Fair Trade Block Party (photos at bottom)
Goal #1. A range of Fair Trade Certified products are available at local businesses and companies (Target = 1 business per 10,000 people). Boston blew this one out of the water! Find out if there is a business offering Fair Trade products near you with the FAIR TRADE GUIDE TO BOSTON on our Resources Page! Page 22 of the same guide explains more about the companies that support and offer Fair Trade.
Goal #2. Schools, workplaces, places of worship and community organizations support Fair Trade and use and offer Fair Trade product(s) (Target = 1 institution per 5,000 people). As always, this “campaign” is ongoing – it doesn’t end just because we’ve reached our goal! If your community of faith, school/university/study lounge or office workplace consistently serves a Fair Trade Product, take a moment and tell us where it is and what is offered using this easy submission form! (Remember, it must be within Boston city limits – but our ‘Fair Trade Cambridge’ page is coming *very* soon!). If you *don’t* serve Fair Trade already at your church or office – you can start this week!
Goal #3. City council passes a resolution supporting Fair Trade, and actively encourages its local use and availability. The City Council of Boston passed a resolution in support of Fair Trade on May 5, 2010! Check it out here: Boston City Council Fair Trade Resolution. Fair Trade Boston coalition members from Autonomie Project, Ben and Jerry’s, Equal Exchange, Boston Faith and Justice Network and Boston Trinity Academy were all powerful advocates and grateful witnesses on to its passing!
Goal #4. Media coverage and events raise awareness and understanding of Fair Trade across the community. The Fair Trade Boston Coalition spearheaded several events over the past two years that reached a large swath of the Boston area. From concerts and movie screenings to large-scale kick-offs and World Fair Trade Day 2009 and 2010 to simply learning the issues, more and more Bostonians are being exposed to the value of Fair Trade in their community and world. The most-read newspaper in Beantown, Metro Boston, ran articles covering our movement and events in May and September as we achieved Fair Trade Town status! We’ve also been covered in the Boston Herald, on local TV, college radio and more. To stay abreast of what will be going on in the future that you can be a part of, sign up for our mailing list by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org!
Goal #5. A Fair Trade steering group/committee representing different sectors is formed to co-ordinate action around the goals and develop them over the years. You’re reading their website now! The Fair Trade Boston coalition holds regular meetings every few weeks to plan events and strategize about deepening relationships and Fair Trade engagement – throughout the city and across our various fields of influence. If you or your group is interested in partaking and/or engaging your organization more with trade justice issues in Boston, please don’t hesitate to be in touch – we would love for you to join us. email@example.com
Fair Trade Boston threw a ‘Fair Trade Block Party’ in front of the Prudential Center to celebrate Boston achieving ‘Fair Trade Town’ status on September 10, 2010. A few thousand people joined us!
Ben & Jerry (for real!) came to enjoy the booths and Fair Trade samples and say some words, as did representatives from the mayor’s office, the entire staff and some clients from Root Capital, a huge delegation from Northeastern University and obviously many many more! Photos by Seth Wispelwey.