Renewing Fairtrade Community Status

Achieving Fairtrade status is an amazing success which reflects the time and effort your steering group has dedicated to realising your goals locally. It's just a milestone on the journey as a Fairtrade Community however, and Fairtrade status should be renewed every two years. 

Incredible achievements have been realised nationally and internationally, thanks to the the actions of Fairtrade Towns. The growth in Fairtrade product sales and awareness has influenced policy at local and national levels, for example. However, there is still a lot to be done before all trade is fair. Your local campaign plays a key role behind this national effort and it’s important to maintain and grow this activity so that new people join the movement, greater awareness is raised and you feel part of a creative and fun process!

New Fairtrade Town Status renewal process

Following consultation with community groups we are refreshing the Fairtrade Town Status renewal process. We want to ensure it reflects the needs of Fairtrade steering groups across the country. The new process aims to make your renewal faster and focused on your campaigning activities rather than paperwork. 

A pilot phase with a small number of towns started in April 2018. After this initial testing period we will officially launch the new process on September 2018 after suggestions and feedback received during the pilot have been incorporated. Throughout the pilot and until the end of December 2018 towns can still choose to renew their status using the previous offline renewal form. If you choose this wayyou can find all the relevant information on our Fairtrade Town status renewal offline page.

What’s changed?

At the moment the focus of the renewal process is on future plans, which does not account for the huge scale of Fairtrade activity we know takes place in communities. This is why the new renewal process focuses on past activity and actions taken since your last renewal. Through this process we want to capture as much of your activity across the country as possible. This way, we can understand the impact we’re having in the UK in our mission to make trade fair. It also means we can aggregate the findings from all Fairtrade Towns so we can showcase the wonderful work of the wider movement you are part of. And of course, you can discover how your local actions fit into the bigger picture. Also, the new renewal process is hosted online and can be submitted only through the online renewal form.

The five goals and the timeframes in order to maintain your Fairtrade Town status stay the same. Your status must still be renewed one year from the date of declaration, and further renewals are still required every two years.

How to complete your renewal

To renew your status you now just need to complete the three-stage online form. Any supporting documents you have (photographs, newspaper clippings etc) can be uploaded as you go. 

The three stages of the form are:

1)    You and your group

Here we ask you to provide us with:

  • contact information for your group,
  • the group’s key contact details,
  • an additional member’s details and
  • some information about your group’s online activity.

In particular, we ask for details on the social media accounts your group holds and the numbers of likes and followers on those.  

2)    Looking back

Here we ask you to tell us about what you’ve been up to in the past year, including:

  • engagement with businesses and local organisations such as churches and schools,
  • flagship employers (if your group is required to have one),
  • events and local press coverage and
  • any other activities your group might have taken part in.

In particular, we ask for quantitative information such as the number of organisations you have engaged with and the amount and type of events you have organised or participated in.

3)    Political engagement

Here we ask you to tell us about your engagement with your Local Authority and – NEW - political representatives (if applicable).

It’s essential that you tell us about how you’ve engaged with your Local Authority as part of your renewal – it’s also one of the five goals. Engaging with your MP, MSP, AM or MLA is not required to complete your renewal; however, understanding the level of engagement amongst Fairtrade groups with their elected representatives is hugely valuable and helps inform our national campaigning.

What should I expect after I submit my renewal?

Once you’ve submitted your renewal form you will receive an automated email confirming receipt of your renewal. We will review it within 4 weeks and an updated certificate will be sent to you. If we have any questions, we’ll get in touch with your steering group’s key contact.