Speak to local businesses

The Fair Trade movement has been a success because shoppers have shown businesses that they want to support Fair Trade. Businesses need to respond to their customers’ demands, and so hundreds of businesses across Scotland have started using or stocking Fair Trade after receiving feedback from customers requesting them to do so. Why not speak to businesses near you about Fair Trade?

For retailers and catering outlets, you can speak to staff or leave a comment card. If businesses are to start selling Fair Trade items, they need to be confident that enough people will buy them so you need to show that there’s a good level of local support for Fair Trade. We’ve heard insider stories from some shops that they’ll consider stocking new products if 8-10 individual customers request them, so ask your friends and family to give their feedback too. If you’re able to get the business to stock Fair Trade, it’s then very important that you buy these products from them wherever possible.

For other local businesses that use Fair Trade, rather than sell it (an office, for example), you could call them or write an email. Tell them that consumers locally want to see Fair Trade and would favour businesses that support it. You could perhaps offer to spread the word to friends and family about the business if they switch to Fair Trade or, if the business shows lots of enthusiasm for Fair Trade, you could ask a local newspaper if they’ll cover a story about it.

We have put together a guide to help local groups and Fair Trade campaigners reach out to businesses. Full of handy hints and featuring the Melrose Fair Trade group as a case study, we hope this pack will help local groups get local businesses on board!