About Us

Help us make Surrey a Fairtrade County

Fairtrade coffee beansDo you think people should be paid a fair wage for a fair days work & a fair price for the crop they grow? We do!

Join our campaign to make Surrey a Fairtrade county. By encouraging fellow Surrey residents to look for and buy Fairtrade products when shopping, we can send out a clear message that the people of Surrey support farmers in the developing world.

Many towns, villages and boroughs in Surrey have Fairtrade status. They achieved this by encouraging businesses, councils, schools and faith groups to sell Fairtrade products and to spread the word about how they think trade should work.

By replicating this across Surrey, we could make Surrey the first Fairtrade county in the South-East!

  • Deepen your friends and families understanding of the benefits Fairtrade brings;
  • Encourage different organisations and businesses to offer the choice of Fairtrade products;
  • Arranges events where Fairtrade can be promoted, discussed and better understood;
  • Join the Surrey Fairtrade campaign to help us achieve the 5 goals set by the Fairtrade Foundation

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed individuals can change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has”     Margaret Mead, Anthropologist

Why Surrey and why now?

In November 2009 a group of dedicated Fairtrade campaigners from across Surrey gathered to share their experiences of Fairtrade campaigning and to discuss how Surrey could become the first Fairtrade county in the South-East (Somerset, Cumbria & Herefordshire have already achieved Fairtrade County status in England). As representatives of Fairtrade towns in Surrey, they had already worked hard to raise awareness of Fairtrade in their own communities and the room was abuzz with enthusiasm to extend this success by creating a county-wide Fairtrade campaign.

The goals to achieving county status are similar to goals of Fairtrade towns (see below) and the group explored ideas for flagship county employers, how more towns could be assisted in gaining Fairtrade status and how a county-wide campaign would extend commitment of community initiatives throughout Surrey to the principles behind Fairtrade and the aims of the campaign.

With the Olympics coming to London in 2012 and the increase in tourism that will result, it was felt that 2012 would be an excellent opportunity to achieve Fairtrade county status reflecting well on the county for visitors whilst also introducing many to the concept of Fairtrade which they could take with them on their return home.

What is a Fairtrade Town?

A Fairtrade Town is any community that:

  • Supports Fairtrade and deepens understanding of the benefits Fairtrade brings;
  • Promotes different organisations and businesses to offer the choice of Fairtrade products wherever possible;
  • Arranges events to provide the opportunity of Fairtrade to be promoted, discussed and better understood; and
  • Achieves and continues to take action on the five Fairtrade Town goals set by the Fairtrade Foundation.
Woking Fairtrade

Woking is a Fairtrade Town

Fairtrade is about bringing the farmer and the shopper closer together. It’s about putting people at the heart of trade. Becoming a Fairtrade Town sends a powerful message about how the community wants trade to work and directly benefit some of the world’s poorest farmers and workers through increasing
awareness and sales of Fairtrade in the local area.

‘People power’ works and Fairtrade Towns have been essential in building support for Fairtrade across the UK. A study funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) found that the most effective campaigns to encourage ethical shopping are those that take place at a collective level, such as the creation of Fairtrade Towns, Cities, rather than those that only target individual behaviour.’

“The Fairtrade Towns movement is vital, and is making a huge difference. It is a grassroots social movement and together with the producer forms the beating heart of changing the world trading system. “    Harriet Lamb, Chief Executive Officer, Fairtrade Foundation

Five Goals for a Fairtrade Town

  1. The local council passes a resolution supporting Fairtrade, and agrees to serve Fairtrade products (for example, in meetings, offices and canteens);
  2. A range of (at least two) Fairtrade products are readily available in the area’s retail outlets (shops, supermarkets, newsagents, petrol stations) and served in local catering outlets (cafés, restaurants, pubs);
  3. Local workplaces and community organisations (places of worship, schools, universities, colleges etc.) support Fairtrade and use Fairtrade products whenever possible. Populations over 100,000 also need a ‘flagship’ employer;
  4. Through media coverage and events, raises awareness and understanding of Fairtrade across the wider community; and
  5. A Fairtrade steering group is convened to ensure the Fairtrade Town campaign continues to develop and gain new support.

      [ More about being a Fairtrade town ]

How to achieve Fairtrade County status for Surrey

The goals for a Fairtrade County are very similar to those for a Fairtrade Town, City or Borough. The county campaign can choose how best to meet Goals 2 and 3 – they can be met if more than half the population of the county live in an area which has already achieved Fairtrade status. Goals 1, 4 and 5 must be met in the usual way and a Fairtrade County campaign needs a distinct flagship employer.

The steering group for the Surrey campaign contains representatives from Fairtrade groups across Surrey plus those communities working towards Fairtrade status, and they have already started planning how each of the above ‘county status’ goals can be achieved. The objective of the launch event at Surrey University on Saturday 11 September is to raise countywide awareness of the campaign and to build commitment to achieving Fairtrade County status in 2012.

Fairtrade campaigns in Surrey

Fairtrade towns in Surrey: Addlestone, Dorking, Godalming, Guildford, Haslemere, Leatherhead, Lingfield & Dormansland, Rushmoor, Tatsfield and Woking.

Information on Fairtrade in these towns can be found by hovering over the ‘Groups’ item on the horizontal menu near the top of the page.


Steering Group

Surrey Fairtrade Steering Group is working towards achieving fairtrade status for the County of Surrey.  One of the requirements is 125 retail outlets selling four or more Fairtrade items and 61 catering establishments which serve Fairtrade products in Surrey.  We have done a survey of the large supermarkets and cafe chains:  Tesco, Waitrose, Sainsbury, Asda, Morrisons, Marks and Spencer, Co-op stores (other than Welcome Stores), Booker, Starbucks and Greggs bakers, but have asked for our help.  If you know of any shops or catering establishments which fit the criteria (other than those mentioned) could you please let us know.  We also need to compile a list of local workplaces and community organisations, (places of worship, schools, universities, colleges and other community organisations) which support Fairtrade and use Fairtrade products wherever possible.

If anyone is interested in receiving emails from the Surrey Fairtrade Steering Group , please let us know.