May the 14th saw the celebration of World Fair Trade Day 2011. Organised by the WTFO, this annual event is celebrated around the second Saturday in May each year. The WFTO is a global network which represents over 400 organisations, movements and charities. WFTD 2011 was a celebration of the movement and aims to raise awareness and bring together producers, businesses, consumers and social enterprises who are involved in the trade processes.
This year saw events occur all over the world. In America, an estimated 100,000 people took part in a coffee break which was held at many venues and included food tastings, talks, music concerts and many other events. The Fairtrade Town Campaign celebrated the day by declaring 1000 towns across five continents as Fairtrade towns.
Extensive celebrations and fund-raisers occurred all over Scotland, organised by the Scottish FairTrade Forum (SFTF), whose ultimate goal is to make Scotland a fairer trading nation. The SFTF have asked people to pledge to do just one thing to support fairer trade as part of their Countdown Campaign. The Scottish celebrations happened at five important sites, including the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum and Edinburgh Zoo. Canterbury held it’s own Market over the weekend of WFTD 2011. Other UK based celebrations included fashion shows, talks and the Fairtrade Fortnight Awards. The Fairtrade Foundation hung a record breaking length of bunting in Battersea Park. The bunting had been stitched together by volunteers as part of a campaign for fairer trade rules in the cotton industry.
The theme for this year’s celebration is the motto ‘TRADE FOR PEOPLE – Fair Trade your world’. The aim of this motto is to demonstrate that communities and the environment are the most important aspects of trade and that we as the consumer have the power to change things. By choosing fairtrade gifts with the prominent fairer trade labelling, consumers really can make a difference.