Did you know that on May 10th, 2013, Toronto is gaining an exciting new title? It’s a title that announces to the world that Torontonians are more than just consumers; we’re smart consumers, responsible consumers, and globally conscious consumers.
What title is it, you ask?
Well, Toronto is about to become the 16th official Fair Trade Town in Canada… As well as the largest Fair Trade Town in all of North America!
Fair Trade, for those in the dark, is a product certification system meant to create production and trade chains that are ethical and fair for all parties involved. It can help farmers and producers in developing countries improve their livelihoods and communities, and can help support gender equality, education, and proper healthcare through community projects, and training.
The Fair Trade Town campaign first began in the UK in 2000 to help raise awareness for Fair Trade initiatives. Fair Trade Town is a certification that recognizes the efforts of towns and cities in strengthening the presence of Fair Trade in their communities, both in terms of products and citizen awareness. Being a Fair Trade Town means a lot of things, but the most important message it sends is that Fair Trade matters… and Torontonians know it!
Toronto’s new title demonstrates that Torontonians believe in the power of consumer action. Buying Fair Trade is a great way to integrate positive changes into your daily routine, and of supporting the millions of farmers that work within the Fair Trade system.
The Jane Goodall Institute of Canada, of course, is a part of the vibrant Fair Trade community in Toronto. With their Fair Trade certified Jane Goodall Institute Blend coffee aside, the community development projects that JGI supports are perfect examples of the foundational principles behind Fair Trade initiatives.
If you’re in the Toronto area and want to show your support for this important milestone, come out to City Council’s official flag raising ceremony on May 10th, 2013 from 12pm-2pm, on City Hall’s rooftop garden (100 Queen Street West). Councilor Mike Layton will be reading Toronto’s Fair Trade Proclamation at 12:30pm, and raising a Fair Trade flag in honour of Toronto achieving this important title.