Auckland ready to become a fair trade city

Te Waha Nui report by Sarah Krieg
Auckland is on the verge of becoming a Fair Trade city with Auckland Council in the final stages of confirming its support for the idea.

An organisation called Make Auckland Fair Trade has been working towards the cause since 2010, after Wellington and Dunedin became New Zealand’s first fair trade cities.

A fair trade city carries an official certification awarded by the Fairtrade body for cities committed to the promotion of Fairtrade certified goods.

The council’s economic forum made its support official last month, followed by its regional development and operations committee last week. The motion was also passed by the council’s tenders and procurement subcommittee earlier this month.

Economic forum chairperson Arthur Anae says these were the last steps needed in getting the council’s official support for the cause.
Anae says the council has “nothing to lose” in supporting the cause, saying it could even open doors for better relations with Pacific Island communities.

Make Auckland Fair Trade is not talking to media while it plans its next announcement. Fair Trade New Zealand spokesperson Angus Coull says the official announcement should be released within the next fortnight. Details are being kept “under wraps until then”.

Auckland has already exceeded its goal of 280 retailers selling fair trade products. Make Auckland Fair Trade is also aiming for a similar number of organisations, such as schools and hospitals, using fair trade products.

The Waitemata local board has already become a fair trade workplace and is supporting the council’s move.

Auckland will join more than 1000 fair trade communities worldwide, including London and Vancouver.