Guernsey’s Fairtrade Island status renewed for another three years

The Fairtrade Guernsey Steering Group (FGSG) is delighted to announce that Guernsey’s official Fairtrade Community status has been renewed once again. Guernsey became a Fairtrade Island in 2006 following the passing of a Requête that sought to underline the States’ commitment to Fairtrade, with Fairtrade refreshments being served in all government buildings and at all government events. Reaccreditation has been achieved every two years since this date.

Fairtrade Communities have been hugely successful in spearheading collective grassroots social action resulting in local council resolutions, more Fairtrade products on shelves, awareness and trust in the FAIRTRADE Mark, local media coverage and empowered local steering groups. Since April 2000, when the people of Garstang declared their small market town in Lancashire the world’s first Fairtrade Town, more than 650 Fairtrade Towns, Cities, Villages, Islands, Boroughs, Counties and Zones throughout the UK have committed to becoming Fairtrade Communities and been awarded that status by the Fairtrade Foundation.

Although the accreditation process was simplified and moved online in 2023, the qualifying criteria have remained essentially the same over the last 24 years: a steering group consisting of at least three people must be set up to lead local activities; the relevant local authority must have passed a formal resolution expressing their commitment to Fairtrade; the steering group must engage with other local organisations including businesses, schools, places of worship, media houses and charities, to encourage their support for Fairtrade and involvement in trade justice campaigning; and a range Fairtrade products should be widely available across retail, wholesale and hospitality outlets. In addition, Fairtrade Communities can now earn special digital badges for their local activities across five recognised action areas, including consumer action, connecting with other Fairtrade campaigners and driving political change.

As part of the reaccreditation process, the Fairtrade Guernsey steering group calculated that it had organised or participated in at least 20 events since the previous status renewal in 2020, involving at least 2,500 islanders. Over 100 local organisations have signed up as supporters and in 2023, Notre Dame Du Rosaire primary school became the first school on the island to gain FairAware status as part of the Fairtrade Schools scheme.

2024 marks the 30th anniversary of the FAIRTRADE Mark, and Fairtrade Fortnight will take place this year from 9th to 22nd September – so watch out for some exciting activities and events from the steering group to celebrate the impact that the movement has had in the world.