21 August, 2017

City of Selkirk – Workplace of the Year

by Ian Brown - Fairtrade Canada

In a series of blog posts, we are pleased to be showcasing the winners of the 2016 Canadian Fairtrade Awards. The Canadian Fairtrade Awards recognize exceptional Fairtrade supporters and are an opportunity to celebrate all of the great work done in the year by businesses, organizations and individuals.

A new award category for 2016, Workplace of the Year recognises an organization or business for their commitments both to educate their staff about fair trade, and to provide Fairtrade certified products in the workplace. Hundreds of employees across the country now work in more than 20 designated Fair Trade Workplaces. The application chosen as the first winner of this award was from the first municipal government in Canada to become a Fair Trade Workplace – the City of Selkirk, Manitoba.

Here are more details about what the City of Selkirk undertook on the road to the award of Workplace of the Year:

  • A couple of years ago City Council adopted a new progressive Community Strategic Plan which calls on city staff to rethink ‘business as usual’ and incorporate social and environmental impacts into their decision making.
  • One of the decisions taken was to exclusively offer Fairtrade certified coffee, tea and sugar to employees. This is seen as a move to become community builders not just locally but globally, and entailed working with their vendor to source Fairtrade certified products.
  • The City has worked with other local community organizations to explain the importance of fair trade, which has encouraged several of them to become Fair Trade Workplaces as well.

“We are proud to be the first municipal government designated as a Fair Trade Workplace and we are extremely honoured to be recognized with the first ever Fair Trade Workplace of The Year Award. We have leveraged this acknowledgement into another opportunity to speak with the public about the power of choosing Fairtrade products and it’s been an added source of momentum in our work to have Selkirk become a Fair Trade Town”. - Duane Nicol, Chief Administrative Officer

For more information about the City of Selkirk’s commitment to Fair Trade, please visit myselkirk.ca/fair-trade-workplace

For more information please visit our page about the Canadian Fairtrade Awards and the Fair Trade Workplace Program.