Dundee Fair Trade Forum wants to highlight the links between Fair Trade and climate justice, recognising the growing challenges that climate change is bringing to farmers in countries which have done the least to contribute to climate change but are disproportionately affected by it.
The project aims to promote awareness and support for Fair Trade which ensures that producers in some of the world’s poorest countries receive a fair price for their products to help them support their families, invest in their businesses and make social and environmental improvements in their communities.  

Dundee Fair Trade Forum

Go To Website

Addressed Challenges:

  • Food security & supply
  • Greater fairness
  • Just transition

Action Areas:

  • Land use, Food & Agriculture
  • Finance

Initiative Purpose:

  • Mitigation & Adaptation

The Story

Dundee is a Fairtrade City text with Mug and Tea pot

 Dundee Fair Trade Forum has worked together with Dundee City Council for many years to promote Fair Trade in the city. The Council first adopted a resolution supporting Fair Trade in 2001 and, partly as a result, Dundee became Scotland’s first Fairtrade City in 2004.  As Fair Trade became more firmly established, the Council re-affirmed and strengthened its policy which aims to increase the use of fairly traded products, raise awareness of Fair Trade amongst employees and in schools, include fairly traded products in appropriate Council contracts and franchises (e.g. where catering may be provided by an external provider) and work in partnership with Dundee Fair Trade Forum and other local and national organisations to promote Fair Trade. In June 2019, the Council pledged its support for the International Fair Trade Charter, with its vision of justice, equity and sustainable development, and the Council’s logo appears on the Charter website. The University of Dundee has also been a particularly strong supporter of the Forum, and is itself accredited as a Fairtrade University.

Achievements by the Forum include:

  • campaigns and events during Fairtrade Fortnight every year – in 2020, Dundee hosted the Scottish launch of Fairtrade Fortnight, with photocalls in City Square and outside V&A Dundee and the Fairtrade flag flying from the City Chambers, while the Chambers has also hosted Fairtrade breakfasts during the Fortnights, attended by school pupils. These events have very often included presentations by Fairtrade producers, visiting the UK as part of the Fairtrade Foundation’s programme. Over the years we have hosted producers of cocoa, bananas, sugar, coffee and tea from Ghana, St Lucia, Costa Rica, Malawi and Kenya.
  • a presence at the annual Flower and Food Festival, one of Scotland’s major events of its kind, where the Forum have had a rent-free stall selling Fair Trade products and an online presence while the Festival has had to be held virtually. Steps have also been taken to ensure the availability of Fair Trade products from other participants in the Festival
  • obtaining funding for leaflets encouraging local cafes and restaurants to provide Fair Trade products and for window stickers to be displayed by those who do
  • using the Council’s contacts to promote Fair Trade to local businesses, including the Forum running a stall at the Council’s ‘Meet the Buyer’ events for businesses 
  • developing the Forum’s website and a page on the Council’s website which contains information on local and national organisations promoting fair trade, and increasing the use of social media to promote Fair Trade messages
  • supporting Fairtrade groups in schools, as well as providing learning resources for specific projects and Professional Learning for teachers, often in conjunction with the Scottish Fair Trade Forum and the Fairtrade Foundation
  • installing high profile ‘We Are A Fairtrade City’ signs on the major routes into the city from the north, west and east  

Success & Outcomes

The Forum doesn't have specific targets but aims to raise awareness of fair trade and encourage more people to choose fair trade options to support those in vulnerable countries  who are already seeing the impacts of climate change - from droughts and crop disease to floods, heatwaves and shrinking harvests - while COVID-19 has made the challenges faced by food producers greater than ever, with falling commodity prices and shocks reverberating through global supply chains. Ongoing poverty in farming communities makes it increasingly hard for them to cope with the effects of climate change, so the Forum has promoted the message that more money is needed in the hands of producers if they are to adapt and survive the climate crisis. Any increase in people buying Fair Trade products will mean improvements in producers’ livelihoods, including collective strength through co-ops and their bargaining power, the protection of a Minimum Price and Fairtrade Premiums to invest in their communities. 

Advice for others looking to do something similar

The Forum is a good example of bringing together the commitment of individuals with the power of large organisations such as the University of Dundee and Dundee City Council.

She deserves fairtrade caption with woman in background Group of people holding up signs that Dundee is a Fairtrade city