Bristol’s exemplar role continues as it retains Fairtrade City status for another three years

July 10, 2019

Bristol has been successful in its bid to renew its status as a Fairtrade City – an accolade that recognises another three years of work by individuals and organisations to raise awareness of Fair Trade issues and support the supply chains.

Bristol was first designated as a Fairtrade City in 2005 and has long been recognised as an exemplar – in the latest renewal it was commended for its efforts in making Fair Trade part of every daily life in the city as well as the wide reach of its activity. 

To achieve and maintain the status, a city must demonstrate its commitment to Fair Trade across five core goals – support from local government, visibility in local retail, engagement with business and community organisations, gaining local media coverage and convening a Fair Trade steering group.

The Fairtrade Foundation – which administrates the awarding of Fairtrade City status in the UK – noted high-profile events in Bristol over the past three years such as the Fairtrade Gold Gala, which raised £4,500 to buy equipment for a gold mining community in Uganda to allow them to mine without the use of mercury.

The Foundation also praised the continued impact of the flagship South West Fair Trade Business Awards. Staged for the seventh time in May, the awards were this year hosted by former Apprentice judge Nick Hewer and celebrated organisations across the region that support Fair Trade through their supply chains and communications.

A major development for Bristol Fair Trade Network since Fairtrade City status was last renewed has been its registration as a Community Interest Company (CIC). As well as leading to the creation of a voluntary board of directors to oversee the direction of the network’s activity, the status has allowed it to successfully apply for a grant to fund a Fair & Local campaign in which Fair Trade is integrated into the local economic landscape, simultaneously bringing benefits for local businesses and Fair Trade producers worldwide.

The Going for Gold campaign, through which Bristol hopes to be recognised as the UK’s first Gold Sustainable Food City by the end of 2020, also has Fair Trade at its heart. Led by Bristol Food Network, Bristol Green Capital Partnership and the city council, the campaign calls on individuals and organisations across the city to take action to positively transform Bristol’s food system.

Bristol deputy mayor Councillor Asher Craig said: “Bristol is incredibly proud to have maintained its status as a Fairtrade City. Fair Trade promotes the rights of small-scale farmers across the globe to independence and dignity in their work – these are values which we are proud to support in Bristol, underpinned by the One City approach and, of course, Going for Gold.

“The community support and visibility of Fair Trade campaigns and products across the city, as well as in Bristol City Council, demonstrates that Fair Trade is truly a part of Bristol’s DNA.”

The renewal comes as the FAIRTRADE Mark – the global certification label of Fairtrade International – prepares to celebrate its 25th year. The label remains one of the most recognised and trusted ethical certification schemes on the market today.


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