Walking has long been used as a campaigning method for Fair Trade. This Festival aims to celebrate, consolidate and build upon the experiences of past and present Fair Trade walks from all over the world.
The initial Fair Trade Way from Garstang - the world's first Fair Trade Town - to Keswick was first walked by a group of volunteers in 2009. Each stage of the 6-day walk went between Fair Trade Towns and the idea has spread across the UK. In Wales, there is a growing network of Fair Trade Ways and we can take inspiration from Baskinta, Lebanon - the host of the 10th International Fair Trade Towns Conference - where people have the opportunity to walk through the places that local writers have written about.
In Scotland, campaigner Ian Baxter walked from Glasgow to Inverness in 2011 to raise awareness of Scotland’s Fair Trade Nation Campaign and in India, activist Pushpanath Krishnamurthy completed a 450-km walk in 2015 from Puducherry to Udhagamandalam to kick start an initiative to make the India towns of Puducherry and Auroville the world’s first Fair Trade "Twin Towns."
This Festival therefore encourages individuals, groups, schools, universities, communities and businesses across the globe to follow in these footsteps and organise their owns walks to support Fair Trade.
When does the Festival take place?
The Festival will run from 1 JUNE to 31 DECEMBER 2018. Organise your walk on whichever day suits you.
How can walking raise awareness and support for Fair Trade?
The ultimate aim of these walks is to raise awareness of the injustices in the international trading system and encourage people to join the campaign for better wages and safer working conditions for the people who grow our food and make our products.
We therefore encourage you to organise your walk to start, finish or stop by at least one Fair Trade place. For example, walks could take place between Fairtrade Towns, cafes, schools, businesses, community centres etc.
There are many possible combinations but it's really up to you to decide where you want to go and how you will raise awareness of Fair Trade before, during or after your walk.
Be bold and creative and think about how you will get the Fair Trade message across: signage, songs, costumes and lots of Fair Trade snacks are all possibilities!
This year's theme is Milestones - you can use the walk to celebrate your own key milestones in your Fair Trade campaign or pass 'milestones' along your walking route. The theme can be adapted to any time of year or things which you wish to celebrate.
Walks taking place in 2018
June 2018 - Baskinta, Lebanon. Baskinta Literary Trail Walk with participation of organisations and schools from across Lebanon.
Wednesday 6 June 2018, Swansea, Wales, - A Walk to Celebrate Wales' Ten Years As a Fair Trade Nation! Meet from 5pm at the Oxfam Shop in Castle Street, Swansea, SA1 1HZ. Leave at 5.30pm to walk up Kilvey Hill. Picnic tea on the summit, looking down proudly on the Fairtrade City and the County of Swansea, and looking further afield to the surrounding Fairtrade Towns and Counties of South Wales and over the Bristol Channel to the Fairtrade Counties of Somerset and Devon in England. Bring your own picnic (organisers will have a few Fairtrade goodies to share!) More details : 01792 654710.
Saturday 16 June 2018 - Malton and Norton, England. Meeting point: Robin Hood's Bay at 10.30am, outside the Victoria Hotel YO22 4RL (top of the hill as you go down to the beach). Walk will go along beach to the Boggle Hole Youth Hostel, about 3 minutes from the beach. Fairtrade hot drinks and cakes in cafe. Option to continue further along beach, come back via the beach or climb up to the cliff top and walk back along the Cleaveland Way. Just turn up on the day or contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, tel: 07985365161
Lancaster, England - Message from Graham Hulme (organiser): A number of facts have led to the postponement of the walk planned between Galgate and Lancaster scheduled for Sunday 26 August. To maximise the impact of the walk, it has been decided that a date in November will be far more effective. Details will be published on this webpage before the end of August. Apologies to anyone who has been inconvenienced.
Tell us about your walk
We would love to hear about your walk to add it to the list above. Just email us.
You can also read about walks on the Fair Trade Ways Blog here.
Please note that participants/organisers/groups are responsible for their own health and safety. The Scottish Fair Trade Forum is not the organiser of these walks.