Bruce Crowther (centre) is a very busy man. Inducted as a Ghanaian chief, working part-time as a vet and part-time as the Fairtrade Foundation’s Towns Co-ordinator, he is also keenly aware of the need for farmers in this country to get a fair price for their produce. Those who would like to read more Bruce’s about thinking on this subject, presented at Lancaster University, can do so here.
He began campaigning for Oxfam in 1984 and persuaded residents in the small market town of Garstang in Lancashire, where he lived with his family, to declare itself the world’s first Fairtrade Town in 2000. Bruce went from shop to shop and visited the local businesses, asking them to make a commitment to Fairtrade.
This inspired the Fairtrade Foundation to develop the Fairtrade Towns campaign and, since then, over 1,000 Fair Trade Towns in 23 countries worldwide have followed in Garstang’s footsteps. Garstang forms a part of the Fair Trade Triangle with the cocoa farming community and Africa’s first Fair Trade Town of New Koforidua in Ghana and Media, Pennsylvania, the first Fair Trade Town on the American continents. The modern day Fair Trade Triangle replaces the three corners of the infamous slave trade triangle of the past.
A Fair Trade Exhibition
This is the world’s first heritage and visitor centre that focuses exclusively on fair trade and trade injustice by exploring four themes; Fair Trade, The Atlantic Slave Trade, Quaker Heritage in ‘1652 Country’ and Chocolate.
A café and shop
The café uses local and fair trade ingredients in all products where possible and provides a community hub for both residents and visitors to Garstang.The gift shop sells fair trade items and musical instruments from Ghana including custom made Djembi drums.
Chocolate making events
There is an educational outreach and learning centre for all ages, with Chocolat author Joanne Harris as patron, also offers innovative and unique interactive chocolate making events using cocoa from New Koforidua and live video links.
Fair Trade Way
There are Fairtrade refreshments, souvenirs and information for ramblers at the start of the Fair Trade Way; the world’s first long-distance fair trade heritage trail, linking Fairtrade Towns between Garstang and Keswick.
If you are ever in the Garstang area, do drop in.