Making York a Fair Trade City

Since 2004 a group of volunteers have been working behind the scenes to maintain York’s status as a fair trade city. They state Fair Trade – as opposed to Fairtrade – because there are many ways in which everyone can support fairly traded goods even when they don’t meet the exacting status of the official Fairtrade movement. With the celebration of International Fair Trade Day in May, Claire Davies met with Helen Harrison and Kathryn Tissiman to discuss their work within the York Fair Trade Forum.

 

Why worry about fair trade?

Most people have seen the Fairtrade label on the coffee, tea and chocolate sitting on our supermarket shelves. But fair trade is about much more than paying a little more for food and drink products imported from developing countries. For a deeper understanding of the various goals of the Fairtrade Foundation you can read more on the website. But how does this affect us on a local level? Why are the Forum working to keep York a Fairtrade city? Kathryn points out that fair trade principles apply to every aspect of trading, whether that be buying bananas grown in Columbia or milk produced at a Yorkshire Dales dairy farm. “I firmly believe that we live in a global village and we have a responsibility as global citizens. Fair trade is about fair prices and conditions for everyone.”

 

What does it mean to hold the Fair Trade City status?

On the most basic level it involves engaging local business, institutions and public services with fairly traded products. Local retail outlets such as Fairer World and Alligator Wholefoods are longstanding stalwarts of the fair trade principles. The Forum have supported a total of 79 churches to become fair trade champions and hope to encourage more to join through 2015/16. More recently York City Council have also come on board – with a recent display in West Offices and a commitment to use Fairtrade tea and coffee throughout their offices.

With the status under review every two years, the Forum set new goals and objectives to keep improving year on year. The annual Schools Conference engages children, parents and teachers with concepts such as global education and social justice, laying the foundations with generations to come.

 

In an attempt to become a more diverse group the Forum also holds links with the city’s universities and a student body from York Uni now attends the monthly meetings. A publication around the history of fair trade throughout the ages and a booklet with details of a fair trade trail around the city are also in the pipeline.

 

Where will I find fair trade products?

The selection of food and drink establishments is varied. A full list can be found  on the traders section of their website, but as a local food enthusiast I wanted to finish on a few of my favourites. To find out more about the work of the Forum and how to get involved you will find York Fair Trade Forum on Facebook or at their website.

Places to visit

Bar Convent Café, 17 Blossom Street

Explore Central Library café – Library Square

Alligator Wholefoods – 104 Fishergate

Henshelwoods Delicatessen – 10 Newgate

Tarts and Titbits Delicatessen – 78 Gillygate

10 thoughts on “Making York a Fair Trade City

    1. Claire

      Thank you for your feedback, I also love learning new things on other people’s blogs – there is a wealth of information out there!

  1. Note buyer

    An outstanding share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a colleague who has been doing a little research on this.
    And he actually ordered me dinner because I found it for him…
    lol. So let me reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!!

    But yeah, thanks for spending time to talk about this issue here on your website.

  2. Claire

    Thank you for your kind comments. None of my content is sponsored although I occasionally receive the occasional free bottle of wine in exchange for an honest review.

  3. CletaWRuyz

    For starters I would want to say terrific blog! I needed a brief question that I’d
    like to ask in the event you don’t mind. I found myself interested
    to discover the method that you center yourself and clear your face before writing.
    I actually have had difficulty clearing my mind in acquiring my ideas out.

    I truly do enjoy writing nonetheless it just seems like the very first 10
    to 15 minutes are usually lost just trying to figure out how to
    begin. Any ideas or hints? Kudos!

    1. Claire

      Thank you for your feedback. As far as getting started, the best I can suggest is to make sure you are writing somewhere that you feel comfortable. This can be different for everyone. Also, don’t edit and write at the same time. Get all of the words out – no matter how bad it seems – and go back and edit later. No-one writes a perfect first draft, not even JK Rowling.

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