York Festival of Fair Trade

The city of York is a keen promoter of sustainable commerce and has an active Fair Trade Forum, which organizes regular events both in the city centre and in the wider community of Yorkshire. Every year, the city is host to a popular Fair Trade Festival with an impressive programme of events beginning in late February and lasting into the month of March, during Fairtrade Fortnight. In 2004, York gained official recognition as a Fair Trade city, honouring the region’s dedication to promoting ethical and sustainable commerce.

Shared Earth Importers, York, UK

Fair Trade Businesses in York

The Fair Trade Festival in York is supported by many local businesses and organizations, from small traders to large institutions such as the University of York. With so many exciting cultural events taking place in the city, Fairtrade Fortnight is the ideal time to visit York and to show your support for ethical commerce. Many of the city’s caf├ęs and restaurants are recognized stockists of Fairtrade produce. A number of York hotels have also been listed as designated Fairtrade hotels by the Fairtrade Foundation charity. With so many of the city’s businesses affiliated with the Fairtrade Foundation, it’s impossible not to enter into the spirit of the festival if you visit York during Fairtrade Fortnight.

Ethical Shopping

During the Fair Trade Festival celebrations, residents and visitors to York have the opportunity to take part in a whole host of culturally themed activities. On the programme for 2012 are coffee mornings and chocolate-tasting sessions, offering the opportunity to sample delicious ethically produced food and drink. Coffee mornings and market sales also sell a variety of fairly traded clothes and handmade gifts, making the festival an ideal place to pick up unique presents for your friends and family, or to indulge yourself with a guilt-free treat!

Fairtrade Festival in Glastonbury

Things to See and Do

As well as organizing fundraising events and selling fairly traded goods from around the world, many local schools, dance societies and musical groups get involved in the celebration of ethical trading in York. During the Fair Trade Festival, many of the region’s bands perform in the city centre.

The launch of the 2011 festival was celebrated with a fanfare, played by the well-known Golden Rail Brass Band. Last year’s festival also saw performances by Yorkulele, a local ukulele group and the celebrated York Samba Band. Every year, the festival plays host to some exciting dancing displays that add flair to the Fair Trade celebrations. A demonstration of Capoeira, a choreographed Brazilian martial art performed to music, proved a big hit with visitors to last year’s festival. With an impressive line-up of cultural events, the 2012 York Festival of Fair Trade promises to be just as spectacular as in previous years!

Learn More About Fair Trade

The York Fair Trade Festival programme also includes plenty of educational events, so you can learn more about Fair Trade and sustainability across the world. Festival attendees in 2012 will get the unique opportunity to meet with a group of ladies visiting from Palestine at a special Palestinian Women’s Workshop. This will feature discussions on refugees and women’s rights and promises to be an eye-opening event.

During the festival, there will be the chance to view handmade gifts and artwork by Palestinian refugees, with some unique items available to purchase. For a fun way to support Fair Trade and learn more about how you can help promote Fair Trade across the world, York Fair Trade Festival is not to be missed!


About the Author

Francesca B is a freelance writer who loves to share her knowledge about great travel destinations. She currently writes on behalf of Lodging World.

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