This program was made possible with financial support of the Government of Manitoba,
and was undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada provided through Global Affairs Canada (GAC)
Posted January 19th 2016
January 19, 2016
The Manitoba government is committing to work toward a fair trade designation for Manitoba, which supports the sustainable development of communities, Premier Greg Selinger announced today.
“Fair trade helps to protect producers, workers and the environment while making a real difference for consumers,” said Premier Selinger. “Manitoba is already on the right track to become the first province to achieve fair trade designation and we remain committed to making this a reality.”
Fair trade helps inform consumers and encourage them to support international trade practices that build stronger relationships between producers and consumers.The premier noted the fair trade-certified system is a powerful tool going beyond charity and other aid programs and:
supports sustainable wages for producers and workers;
ensures production methods do as little harm as possible to the environment;
fosters transparency and good governance by promoting co-operatives;
avoids child labour and gender-related discrimination and oppression; and
offers fair trade premiums to communities for projects such as schools, clinics, equipment and training.
Criteria for designation will include government support, product availability based on size of population, public awareness and education activities, and community support.
In 2006, the Manitoba Council for International Cooperation, a coalition of organizations involved in international development,established Fair Trade Manitoba to help raise public awareness of international issues.
“Manitoba families, individuals, organizations, institutions and businesses can have a positive impact on many communities across the globe that may be affected by unfair trade practices,” said Zack Gross, outreach co-ordinator, fair trade, and board chair, Canadian Fair Trade Network. “Fair Trade Manitoba, established 10 years ago, is the first group to promote fair trade designation at the provincial level while supporting the sustainable development of communities in the global south and participating in the growth of fair trade education, promotion and product sales in our province.”
In Manitoba, work is already underway to promote fair trade concepts in school curriculum, the premier said. He noted Stonewall Collegiate has been declared Canada’s second Fair Trade School and others are expected to follow in the coming months.
In 2009, Gimli became Manitoba’s sixth Fair Trade Town, followed by Brandon in May 2014. Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries has become the Canadian leader in sourcing fair trade wines, with approximately 25 currently available, as well as two fair trade-certified beers, one type of vodka and one liqueur.
In addition, the province has provided support for an upcoming national fair trade conference to be held in Winnipeg next month.
“By working together and sharing information on fair trade, we can help producers and consumers build stronger communities,” said Premier Selinger. “Being a fair trade-designated province will help formalize these relationships and ensure Manitoba’s economy continues to grow.”