'Take A Step' campaign officially launched

By Will Richter

Fair Trade groups challenge Canada to reach 150,000 Fair Trade Steps in 2012.

Fair Trade groups across Canada are calling on Canadians to think differently about what they buy this year—and then act together to change the status quo. May 1 marks the official launch of the national “Take A Step” campaign, which aims to register 150,000 individual Fair Trade “steps” in Canada over the coming year.

Coinciding with the annual Fair Trade Fortnight—a national celebration of Fair Trade that will see events taking place across the country May 1-15—the Canadian “Take A Step” campaign joins an international movement that has seen over 550,000 “steps” registered in the U.K. alone.

“This campaign is a chance for people to see the kind of impact even small steps can have,” says Sean McHugh, executive director of Fair Trade Vancouver. “Something as simple as buying one Fair Trade banana becomes significant when 150,000 other people are doing the exact same thing. It’s a step that could have a huge impact on the lives of producers and their families in the developing world, and this campaign is trying to help people to see that.”

Fair Trade Vancouver will be officially launching their Vancouver campaign at the EPIC 2012 Sustainability Living Expo, May 11-13, where attendees will be invited to register their steps on the spot at the event. Other Fair Trade Fortnight events to raise awareness of Fair Trade will be taking place in Winnipeg, Montreal, Ottawa and other communities across the country over the coming weeks.

Canadians can register their “steps,” large and small, at fairtrade.ca/step throughout 2012. The “Take A Step” website also provides information on Fair Trade.