On Tuesday, January10th, Poznań councilmen passed a resolution in support of the idea of Fair Trade and the efforts made by the City of Poznań to earn the title of a Fair Trade Town. The city’s actions are related to the international project „Aware&Fair,“ which is run in cooperation with partner cities Hannover (Germany), Miszkolc (Hungary), Litomerice (Czech Republic) and Blantyre (Malawi) as well as with Polish and German Fair Trade Associations.
The document which has been approved by the councilmen is the first formal step thanks to which Poznań can be awarded the honorable title of a Fair Trade Town. The movement of Fair Trade Towns have existed in the Western Europe since 1960s. It was started by Great Britain and it has become an initiative which gathers about 1000 cities cooperating with one another for the sake of sustainable development and Fair Trade.
Thanks to the adopted resolution, Poznań has a big chance to become a Fair Trade Town as soon as in 2012. Earlier, in December, a similar resolution was passed in Gdańsk, which is another city attempting to join the noble group of Fair Trade Towns. In order to receive the title, Poznań still has to fulfill numerous conditions e.g. to facilitate access to products with a Fair Trade certification mark in local shops and eateries. An important criterion is the variety of items: in each place there should be at least two types of products e.g. coffee and tea. The minimum number of places which need to have such a variety is: 45 shops and 23 eateries. However, the goal of Poznań is to have 55 shops and 27 eateries meeting the conditions (at the moment the city can pride itself on over 30 shops and about 14 eateries).
Another important step is to have 5 local work places and institutions such as schools or universities in which there is access to Fair Trade certified products. In addition to that, it is possible to have Fair Trade friendly schools and colleges. In the Fair Trade Town campaign, the media and the public play a significant role. Every citizen can become a part of the initiative and can support the city’s efforts while doing everyday shopping.
As a part of the project, a group of coordinators is to be established in Poznań. The aim of the group will be to cooperate with local entrepreneurs and distributors for the sake of Fair Trade. This should help Poznań make Fair Trade products available throughout the city as well as to meet the Fair Trade Town criteria.
Everyone can, in their own way, support the Aware&Fair project and contribute to the promotion of Fair Trade. The resolution which was passed yesterday in Poznań is not only proof that the city is entering the next stage of actions aimed at receiving the title. It is also the best proof that the conscious society is creating a new reality which is based on the rules of sustainable development.