Wales as a Fair Trade Nation

June 2008

On June 6th 2008 Wales made history and became the first ever Fair Trade Nation.

2008 – Fair Trade Nation

A two-year campaign by the Wales Fair Trade Forum (WFTF) led to the announcement of Wales being a Fair Trade Nation

A number of targets were set in 2006 by the WFTF in consultation with independent experts to reach the fair trade nation goal.

These included having fair trade groups in 55% of towns and every county working towards fair trade status. Funding from the Welsh Assembly Government and more than 1,000 volunteers have helped to motivate 58 towns, 380 schools and groups in all 22 Welsh counties to commit to learning about fair trade and use fair trade products.

An independent panel of fair trade experts from Britain and Europe reviewed all of the evidence collated and congratulated Wales on its progress.

This was a fantastic achievement involving people and organisations all across Wales.

2018 – 10 years on

To mark 10 years, on 6 June 2018 people all over the world had parties, shared memories, happy birthday messages and finished it all off with a Fair Trade Way.

In 2018 we did a review into Wales as a Fair Trade Nation. Our research clearly shows that people want Wales to continue being a Fair Trade Nation, and more places internationally are interested in the work going on here in Wales. We conducted surveys and held focus groups across Wales.

The main themes that came out of the survey and focus groups are:

  • People are proud of being part of a Fair Trade Nation.
  • Being a Fair Trade Nation is a morally responsible thing. 
  • Being a Fair Trade Nation fits with the identity of Wales and Welsh people.
  • It is important to be a Fair Trade Nation as there is still more to do.

In the future/ Next Steps

Since 2018, the way trade happens has changed as the world develops, and the Fair Trade movement has been evolving to react to new issues. Now the UK has left the EU and seeks to change how it trades, this seemed an appropriate time to reflect on what Wales as a Fair Trade Nation could be in the future.

In 2020, Fair Trade Wales was asked by Welsh Government to be part of their Trade Policy Advisory Group, which advises the Welsh Government on trade policy matters, with particular reference to the UK government’s post-Brexit trade negotiations.

We have three headline asks in relation to Trade Justice:

  1. Barrier-free access to the UK market for low and middle income countries
  2. Trade democracy, meaning that civil society and elected representatives (both devolved and UK) get to scrutinise and approve new trade deals
  3. Holistic impact assessment of new trade deals and their impact on vulnerable economies, not just based on the economy but also taking social and environmental considerations into account

We also joined the UK’s Trade Justice Movement. It’s a coalition of nearly sixty civil society organisations, with millions of individual members, calling for trade rules that work for people and planet.