OLDS — Town council has declared the month of May as Fair Trade Month in the community.
Bev Toews, chair of the Olds Fair Trade Committee, made that request during council’s May 10 meeting.
Fair Trade-certified goods are provided by producers who pay a living wage, use environmentally-sustainable methods, do not use child or forced labour and have gender-equitable operations.
The proclamation noted that Olds was the first community in Alberta to be designated as a Fair Trade town.
Toews said one goal of the Fair Trade committee this month is to encourage residents to support local restaurants that in turn are supporting Fair Trade.
She said one plan is to provide those businesses with Fair Trade chocolate the committee has on hand.
“They can do what they want with it,” Toews said. “We’re encouraging them to maybe create a new cocktail with it, I don’t know.”
She said the goal is to have some events along that vein happen between May 18 and 23.
Coun. Debbie Bennett questioned whether the Fair Trade Committee could help bring in a clothing line. Toews said one local business is already selling toques.
The committee is considering joining the Uptowne Olds Committee in order to promote more Fair Trade products in the area, she said.
Bennett thought that would be a “great idea.”
Toews received several accolades from councillors for her efforts.
“Thank you Bev for all your hard work and doing so much for the community. You’ve been a wonderful ambassador for Fair Trade,” Bennett said.
Coun. Mitch Thomson thanked Toews for “her outstanding decade of volunteerism in this work.”
Mayor Mike Muzychka described Fair Trade as one more way that Olds has been a leader in the province.
“You’ve spearheaded that movement since Day 1. I believe and we appreciate all your efforts. Thank you so much,” Muzychka said.