Petition to the City of Ottawa
In June 2011, FTOÉ launched a petition to show public support of Ottawa becoming a Fair Trade Town. This petition targets City Hall to encourage the City of Ottawa to adjust the Ethical procurement Policy to include more concrete terms on fair trade. They also need to pass a motion in favour of Ottawa becoming a Fair Trade Town. Until Ottawa receives the Fair Trade Town designation—and beyond—FTOÉ will work with the City of Ottawa to ensure that fair trade is woven into the fabric of our community.
As stipulated by Fairtrade Canada, in order to achieve Fair Trade Town status, Ottawa must have at least 100 stores and 50 cafés that carry two or more fair trade certified products. While Ottawa has shown great leadership in this respect, FTOÉ is always actively looking for new businesses that carry fair trade products. If you find one, let us know!
Connecting consumers with businesses
We want to make it as easy as possible to connect consumers with places that carry fair trade products and we are developing a fair trade finder as our tool for connectivity. We look forward to launching this in the near future, as buying fair trade products is one of the easiest ways for individuals to make sustainable change.
FTOÉ participates in various events and projects throughout the community, which allow us to interact with the residents of Ottawa. We are always keen to encourage dialogues and participate in discussions whereby people are able to talk about fair trade, learn about the fair trade standards and ask as many questions as possible. Overall we want people to buy what they think they should be buying, whether it’s fair trade or not, while still making sure that they are asking questions—so that what they do buy is consistent with their own personal values.
We’ve worked with both the University of Ottawa and Carleton to successfully get Fair Trade Campus status (is similar to achieving Fair Trade Town status, only for a campus). Now we are looking forward to helping other schools to achieve a similar status, whether they be high schools (under the Fair Trade Schools program) or the local colleges, who could also qualify for Fair Trade Campus designations.
We’re constantly trying to connect with other initiatives that are operating in Ottawa to build solid relationships. Beyond our natural interest in the work of other activist groups, the Fair Trade Town status requires that we go above and beyond every year—even after we’ve achieved the designation! This includes supporting other initiatives that advocate for environmental sustainability and safer conditions for workers worldwide.