16 November, 2018

Selkirk, Manitoba – 2017 Fair Trade Town of the Year

by Ian Brown, Fairtrade Canada

Continuing our series of posts looking at the winners of the 2017 Canadian Fairtrade Awards, today we’re looking at Selkirk, Manitoba – the 2017 Fair Trade Town of the Year, which recognizes Fair Trade Towns that highlight awareness of Fairtrade through the different program requirements and create successful public engagement for Fairtrade certified products.

With a population of just over ten thousand people, Selkirk in Manitoba may not be the largest Fair Trade Town in Canada, but their achievements in promoting Fairtrade take them above and beyond. Some highlights of their application:

  • This is a true community-wide initiative, with individuals, schools, business, community groups and city officials all participating. Last year the City of Selkirk received the first Canadian Fairtrade Award for Workplace of the Year.
  • They have a twenty-member steering committee with a unique mentoring environment where youth leaders shadow adults in a co-partner position so they can develop new skills while being responsible for a specific role. Currently the committee is working with City Council on an ethical purchasing policy.
  • As a result of an ongoing campaign to educate residents about Fairtrade, through community newspapers, regular events and social media, the number of stores and cafes selling Fairtrade products continues to grow.
  • Events included participating in a community parade with a Fairtrade banana boat float, a booth at the local farmers’ market and handing out chocolate at the town’s Canada Day celebration.

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. The Fair Trade Town Program is about educating consumers, encouraging ethical purchasing and increasing benefits for farmers and workers in the Global South through increased sales of Fairtrade certified products.