Each Fairtrade Town campaign is unique and the way in which Fairtrade status is achieved will be different for every community. These are some ideas and suggestions on how to get started, get people involved, get inspired and take Fairtrade forward in your area!

How to get started

Read about the Fairtrade Towns award scheme and five goals to meet in the Fairtrade Towns Action Guide (and the update on product targets for update on product targets for Goal 2).

Sign up to relevant e-newsletters. ‘Towns’ and ‘Latest News’ are essential reading for any Fairtrade Town campaign!

Let us know your plans and ask any questions. We’d like to help! Contact us at volunteer.towns@fairtrade.org.uk

Develop an action plan

Develop a plan to work towards meeting each of the five goals. Start with what’s easiest in your area and build on early achievements.

Start collecting evidence for each of the five goals. Make a note of any events you organise and keep copies of all press and social media coverage generated.

Make your application when the group feels that you have met the requirements for each of the five goals. This typically takes at least a year. 

If your application is successful, start planning how you will celebrate your declaration as a Fairtrade Town.

If you are not successful on your first application, and more information or action is required, keep going! By this stage you will have built a strong foundation and can use the progress your campaign has already made to bring more people on board.

Declaring Fairtrade status is an important milestone but it is just the beginning. Celebrate your achievements and plan ways to develop them. Tell us about your progress one year later in your first renewal application.

Involve the community

Try and let as many people as possible know about your plans to achieve Fairtrade status. Why not organise an open meeting to tell people about Fairtrade and get them excited about becoming a Fairtrade Town?

Let your Local Authority know what you are doing and find someone supportive within the Council to champion Fairtrade. This could be a Councillor or an officer with responsibilities concerning sustainability, the environment or community planning.

Top tips for a successful application

  • Goal 1: include a copy of the exact wording of the motion passed by your council.
  • Goal 2: include addresses of all shops, supermarkets and cafes that sell Fairtrade products and confirm that they sell at least four products with the FAIRTRADE Mark.
  • Goal 3: state the total number of schools, universities and faith communities in the area and indicate which of these support Fairtrade. Please include details of how those that are listed support Fairtrade e.g. whether schools and churches have achieved Fairtrade status and if not, what products they supply and Fairtrade activities they undertake. Also list workplaces and other community organisations that are using Fairtrade products for their staff. Include the number of employees for any flagship employer.
  • Goal 4: as your campaign progresses record all media coverage and keep copies where applicable. Send a full list of events and media coverage with dates achieved, along with any copies of press articles or details of social media with your application.
  • Goal 5: include a list of steering group members, their roles, membership of other groups and contact details so that we can keep in touch with the group.

Get inspired

Identify any areas near you that have already achieved Fairtrade Town status and contact the steering group to find out about their experience.

Visit our What’s next page for guides, links and further information specific to Fairtrade Towns.

Visit the International Fairtrade Towns website and learn more about the international Fairtrade Town movement, find Fairtrade Towns across the world and share ideas online with supporters

Join the Yahoo Fairtrade Towns discussion group or the Fairtrade Campaigners UK Facebook group to share experience and ideas with committed Fairtrade Town campaigners across the country.


Please allow as much time as possible to process your application (at least 6 weeks) and please do not plan any declaration date until you know that your application has been successful. Don’t forget to include the population of the area concerned. Your application cannot be assessed without this information.

To apply, complete a Fairtrade Towns Application form and return it to volunteer.towns@fairtrade.org.uk. Hard copy of supporting information (e.g. press cuttings) should be sent by post only if it is not possible to be sent electronically. If for any reason you cannot submit the form by email, please contact us.

For tips on renewing your status, take a look at our dedicated page.

Case studies

Take a look at these case studies and tips to see how other groups have approached challenges, used opportunities and trailblazed for Fairtrade.