“Take a Step for Fair Trade” creates Canadian opportunity for global change

OTTAWA, May 1, 2012 – Kicking off alongside Fairtrade Fortnight (May 1), the “Take a Step for Fair Trade” campaign provides an opportunity for Canadians to register their personal socially-conscious contributions towards a national effort. The project, spearheaded by Fairtrade Canada, is already working alongside businesses, organizations, community groups and passionate individuals to hit a goal of 150,000 steps taken across Canada by year’s end.

The campaign launch coincides not only with Fairtrade Fortnight, but also with a growing consciousness among consumers about the consequences of day-to-day purchases for producers across the globe. Each year, sales of Fair Trade products grow by about 30% globally, empowering more and more small-scale producers in the process.

The campaign invites the Canadian public to take its own step for Fair Trade this year. Whether it be to try a new Fair Trade product or to switch out the coffee served in their workplace, Canadians are already showing their enthusiasm by adding their voice to a growing number of supporters across the nation. “I’m already really passionate about Fair Trade, so for me, the campaign is a chance to challenge myself,” says University of Ottawa student, Lia Walsh. “But a lot of my friends don’t even know what Fair Trade is, and they’re getting involved just by learning more. The campaign has something for everyone.”

It’s not just individuals that are taking steps this year. Organizations, businesses, schools, and faith groups have begun planning “Take a Step” events across the country. Home-grown talent like The Dragon Den’s Arlene Dickinson and CBC’s George Stromboulopoulos have already voiced their support.

“This campaign is a chance for people to see the kind of impact even small steps can have,” says Sean McHugh, director of the Canadian Fair Trade Network. “Something as simple as buying one Fair Trade banana becomes significant when 150,000 other people are doing the exact same thing. It’s a step that could make a huge impact on the lives of producers and their families in the developing world, and this campaign is trying to help people to see that.”

For more information or to register steps, visit http://fairtrade.ca/step.

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