York achieved Fairtrade City status in 3 March 2004.
The 'Fairtrade Towns' initiative was set up by the Fairtrade Foundation as a way for local communities to demonstrate their commitment to Fairtrade in a high profile way.
The world's first Fairtrade Town, Garstang in Lancashire, was declared in 1999, and the number of Fairtrade Towns and Cities has grown steadily since. To become a Fairtrade City, we were required to agree to several actions:
- to pass a resolution supporting Fairtrade, and serve Fairtrade coffee and tea at its meetings and in offices and canteens
- a range of Fairtrade products must be readily available in the area's shops and served in local cafés and catering establishments (targets are set in relation to population)
- fairtrade products must be used by a number of local work places (estate agents, hairdressers, etc) and community organisations (churches, schools, etc)
- we must attract popular support for the campaign
- a local Fairtrade steering group must be set up to ensure continued commitment to Fairtrade Town status
What is Fairtrade?
International trade may seem a remote issue, but when commodity prices fall dramatically it has a catastrophic impact on the lives of millions of small scale producers, forcing many into crippling debt and countless others to lose their land and their homes.
Too many farmers in the developing world have to contend with fluctuating prices that may not even cover what it costs to produce their crop.
Development agencies recognised the important role that consumers could play to improve the situation for producers. By buying direct from farmers at better prices, helping to strengthen their organisations and marketing their produce directly through their own one world shops and catalogues, the charities offered consumers the opportunity to buy products which were bought on the basis of a fair trade.
York Fairtrade Forum
York Fairtrade Forum is a voluntary organisation working to make York a Fairtrade city so that more local people are aware of, and support fairtrade which guarantees farmers in the developing work a fair price for their products.