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NEWS: Vancouver, Barrie “fair trade towns”

Wakefield, Quebec is a fair trade town

Wakefield, Quebec is a fair trade town

The Vancouver Sun has reported that, “Vancouver has become the first major Canadian city to be certified for Fair Trade Town status. That means it buys products such as coffee, tea, sugar and even soccer balls that have been made ethically and for which producers — largely low-income farmers and labourers — have been paid fairly.”

The article adds, “The unanimous council decision (on May 7) means the city will become the 12th Canadian city to obtain certification. At least three other B.C. municipalities – Golden, Revelstoke and Nakusp – have already been given status. Three others – Kimberley, Creston and Cranbrook – are in the application process, along with Montreal and Quebec City.”

The Barrie Examiner also recently reported that, “Barrie is set to become a fair trade city. Councillors have endorsed this status, which still requires approval by TransFair Canada, the national organization. …Barrie staff say that with the exception of council endorsement, the city has already met all TransFair Canada’s other requirements to qualify as a fair trade city.”

This article adds, “The city already sources and serves fair trade tea and coffee in the corporation’s offices, kitchens and events directly managed by the city. Vendors associated with city facilities are encouraged to serve and promote fair trade certified products, when feasible. The city’s purchasing bylaw includes a policy regarding the the purchase of free trade certified products.”

The Vancouver Observer notes that, “Over the past ten years since Garstang, England became the first Fair Trade Town, more than 800 cities and towns in 19 countries have achieved the status, including other large cities like London, Paris and Rome.”

According to the TransFair website, “The first city to be awarded Fair Trade Town status (in Canada) was Wolfville, Nova Scotia, on April 17, 2007. Since then, additional cities such as La Peche, Quebec, Gimli, Manitoba and Golden, British Columbia have joined in, allowing Fair Trade Towns to stretch from coast to coast.”

For more information on this movement, and the list of 12 fair trade communities in Canada, plus the 9 in progress, please go to

Our congratulations to TransFair Canada for this initiative.