Photo Credit: John Sargent
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 17 March to 31 December 2019. Organise your walk on whichever day suits you.
How can walking raise awareness and support for Fair Trade?
The 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 Celebration - you can use the walk to celebrate your own Fair Trade campaign. The theme can be adapted to any time of year or things which you wish to celebrate.
Walks taking place in 2019
Sunday 17 March - Thornton to Haworth, England, UK.
A walk organised by Bradford Fairtrade Zone and the Brontë Society to celebrate Rev Patrick Brontë’s ‘birthday’. Patrick was born on 17.3.1777. Meet at St. James’ Church, Thornton, 9am for 9.30 departure. (Fairtrade refreshments. Visit the permanent Brontë exhibition in the church, and the Brontë Bell Chapel where Patrick was Curate from 1815-1820). The 8 mile walk follows the route the Brontës probably took from Thornton (Brontë birthplace) to Haworth (Brontë home). Option to join half way at Denholme Co-op at 11.45am for the last 4 miles. Learn about Patrick’s social campaigning and enlightened views about education for all, and how these link with Fairtrade. On arrival at the Old School Room in Haworth at approx 2pm, there will be Fairtrade birthday cake. For further information call 01535 647776 or check www.bronte.org.uk
*A new section of the Fair Trade Way based on the Brontës and the Brontë Way, was researched and walked by Batley and Spen Fairtrade group members on 14th March. The Brontë Way runs for 43miles from Oakwell Hall in Birstall, W. Yorkshire to Gawthorpe Hall in Padiham, Lancashire. The members enjoyed Fairtrade refreshments at Oakwell Hall, Charlotte Brontë 's inspiration for ‘Fieldhead’ in her novel Shirley, visited Primrose Lane, Liversedge, the site of the Luddite Battle of Rawfolds Mill, which appears in Brontë writings, and also went to Hartshead Church where Patrick Brontë was Curate (1811-1815) during the Luddite unrest.
Sunday 21 July - Galgate to Garstang, England, UK.
To celebrate Fair Trade Milestones and the bicentenary of Lancaster canal this walk will take place along the canal tow path from Galgate to the world's first Fair Trade Town, Garstang. This year sees the 10th anniversary since the first Fair Trade Way was established from Garstang to Keswick and 25 years since the FAIRTRADE Mark was launched in the UK. To commemorate the 200th anniversary since the completion of the canal some of the milestones between Preston and Kendal have been recently replaced and viewed on the walk.
Details: Galgate to Garstang (Approx. 9 miles). No gradient (Along the canal towpath). Surface is good but if it has been raining then areas of mud will be evident. Approx. 3.5 hours.
Meeting: Meet at The Silk Mill Cafe in Galgate at 1.00pm for a 1.30pm start.
If you would like to take part contact Graham at: firstname.lastname@example.org
21 September 2019 - Baskinta, Lebanon. Baskinta Literary Trail Walk with participation of organisations and schools from across Lebanon.
21 September 2019, Swansea, Wales- Details to follow
21 September 2019, Kumamoto, Japan
Details: Kumamoto City was selected as winner of the “Water for Life” UN Water Best Practice Award in 2013, so the walk with take place at Lake Ezu, a place blessed with rich greenery and abundant ground water. It is a comfortable walk for all, including chiuldren.
Meeting: Meet at Lake Ezu at 10.00am for a 10.30am start.
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 and groups are responsible for their own health and safety on their walk. The Scottish Fair Trade Forum is not the organiser of these walks.