The movement ignites
The Fair Trade grassroots movement in Wales ignited in the late 1990′s in both the North East and South West, quickly spreading across the country.
From the Chartists to the miners strikes, the people of Wales have a history of tackling justice and human rights issues at a local level. It is therefore unsurprising that people readily supported the idea that by their local action they could enable small producers in far away places to become self sufficient.
By 2002 the movement had begun to have some real shape as Ammanford became the first Welsh town to achieve Fairtrade Town Status. Shortly afterwards Wrexham became the first county in the world to achieve Fairtrade County status followed by Cardiff becoming the world’s first Fairtrade Capital City. Wales’ Fair Trade journey was well and truly underway.
The Fair Trade Nation
Fair Trade Wales provided a focus for Wales to become the world’s first Fair Trade Nation in 2008 having secured the endorsement of an independent panel of experts in fair trade matters. The Welsh Assembly Government duly leant their support, quickly followed by the National Assembly for Wales and each of the 22 unitary authorities. All agreed to use Fairtrade tea and coffee in their meetings.
However, the foundation of the movement was with the 55% of Welsh towns and 40% of universities actively supporting fair trade. 2009 saw both the Farmer’s Union of Wales and the NFU Cymru publically declaring their support for FairTrade in what has become an unprecedented partnership and a credit to the dedication and commitment from an array of fair trade volunteers and supporters across the country.