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.
Be sure to tell us about your walk so we can place it on the map above!
When does the Festival take place?
The Festival will run from 1 March to 30 April 2017. Organise your walk on whichever day suits you in this two-month period. Fairtrade Fortnight runs from 27 March to 12 March and may provide a nice backdrop for your walk/event.
How can walking raise awareness and garner 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 entity. 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, the Literary Connections theme gives you the chance to explore your town and its links to current and historic literary legends.
Does your local area have links to writers, poets, playwrights or wordsmiths? Could you walk on the same day as your favourite writer's birthday? Could you invite a local writer to take part? Could you pass by a local writer's home or place that has influenced them?
Tell us about your walk
We would love to hear about your walk and record it on our map below. Just complete this super short form and we'll update the map on a weekly basis.
Share you photos and connect with other Fair Trade walkers on this Facebook page.
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.
The Co-op is kindly supporting the 2017 International Festival of Fair Trade Walks.