This year we celebrate five years of Wales being a Fairtrade Country.
On June 5th it will have been five years since a unique declaration of intent was signed by twenty-two local and national politicians, church leaders, voluntary workers, union representatives, retailers and educationists. They gathered together at NEWI (What is now Glyndwr University) to launch the Wrexham Fairtrade Coalition.
The Coalition worked towards obtaining Fairtrade Status for Wrexham County Borough; this would be a first in Wales. It would engender an ethical buying policy of goods with the Fairtrade kite mark and would ensure real benefits for producers in developing countries.
The fair trade campaign seeks greater equity in international trade and offers better trading conditions and rights for marginalised producers and workers.
Fair trade guarantees set minimum price to farmers for their products, which covers the cost of sustainable production and adds a premium to be spent on social or economic projects.
Fair trade products include fruit and vegetables, footballs, chocolate and clothing.
The campaign was launched by political leaders in 2006 in a joint initiative with Scotland.
The campaign in Wales has seen the WFTF, which has received funding from the assembly government, encourage schools, businesses and other organisations to switch to fair trade products.
Chris Pilsbury of TCC (Together Creating communities) said: “Together we had a vision for Fairtrade at home and overseas. We knew we had to get recognition for overseas first. Part of that, again organising teaching, was to help Wrexham Council see it was in its self-interest to actively support and make policies to do so, which it did.”
On June 5th 2008 Wales was declared the world’s first fair trade nation by campaigners, for the progress it has made increasing the availability of such goods.