When the City of Selkirk was certified a Fair Trade Town on May 9, 2017 it was validation of not only council’s and city staff members’ dedication to the cause, but the community at large.
After all, being branded a Fair Trade Town is recognition that the city leaders along with individuals, organizations and businesses are all on board.
Mayor Larry Johannson said as much at the official announcement at Ecole Selkirk Junior High all those years ago.
“That so many of our local businesses were already involved speaks volumes about their awareness of fair trade and what it means to our global community,” Mayor Johannson said while making the announcement in 2017.
“This is a great reflection of how so many of our businesses are aware of the impact fair trade can have. It also reflects the broad support this movement has in our community overall.”
Join us for free chocolate, crafts, fair trade info and more!
On May 13th, from 2-4pm at the Gaynor Family Regional Library, the city invites everyone to celebrate World Fair Trade Day. There will be free samples of Fair Trade products that are available at participating businesses, including delicious chocolate plus, attendees will have the opportunity to paint and craft all while learning more about the Fair Trade movement.
“The chocolate is very tasty, of course, and we’re celebrating the community’s continued commitment to fair trade,” said Megan Lamirande, Program Coordinator for the City of Selkirk.
“Our committee has been working hard but the pandemic slowed things and now we’re looking to remind everyone that we’re still here and that we are accepting volunteers to help at upcoming events.”
Lamirande also praised city businesses that have continued offering Fair Trade products.
Fair trade works by offering better trading conditions to benefit small-scale farmers and workers and reduce poverty and child labour while building prosperity in marginalized or developing communities primarily in the global south.
In February 2017, a steering committee was formed to obtain a Fair Trade Town designation for the City of Selkirk. The committee had to fulfill certain goals, which include educating the community about Fair-Trade products, and gaining local and political support for the movement.
The committee also worked with local businesses to inventory the available fair trade products like coffee, tea, sugar, chocolate and flowers. As it turns out, many already had several fair trade products on their shelves. Products must carry the ‘Fairtrade’ mark to be included in the inventory.
Ecole Selkirk Junior High is in the process of applying for Fair Trade designation and hopes to achieve that this year. The students, as well as Manitoba Council for International Cooperation (MCIC) are involved with the upcoming event at the library.
Fair Trade Workplace of the Year
Selkirk became a Fair Trade Workplace in March of 2016 and in April 2017 was named the Fair Trade Workplace of the Year.
“We’ve had a lot of momentum around Fair Trade and we’re now reigniting that passion that was slowed during the global pandemic,” said Lamirande.
“Our steering committee was still up and running and meeting virtually but now we’re excited to once again be hosting events, be out in the community and working to improve conditions for small scale farmers and workers in poorer countries.”
Becoming a member of the committee provides opportunities for students who often can earn school credits by volunteering, or just anyone looking to help plan events or spread awareness and it’s a perfect fit for anyone with a global conscience.
“We have several openings right now and we’re happy to talk to anyone interested in joining our group,” Lamirande said.
For more information on the World Fair Trade Day at the library, how to join the committee, or achieve Fair Trade status, visit our Fair Trade webpage.