Oxford became a Fairtrade City on 5 March 2004.

The purpose of a Fairtrade City is to contribute to the Fairtrade Foundation's aim of tackling poverty by enabling disadvantaged producers from poor countries to receive a better deal, through encouraging support for the Fairtrade Mark.

"Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. By requiring companies to pay above market prices, Fairtrade addresses the injustices of conventional trade, which traditionally discriminates against the poorest, weakest producers. It enables them to improve their lot and have more control over their lives."

Fairtrade Foundation

To attain this status, the city has met the following five goals:

  1. local council passes a resolution supporting Fairtrade, and agrees to serve Fairtrade coffee and tea at its meetings and in its offices and canteens
  2. a range of Fairtrade products are readily available in the area's shops, and served in local cafes and catering establishments
  3. Fairtrade products are used by local businesses and community organisations
  4. attract media coverage and popular support for the campaign
  5. a local Fairtrade steering group is convened to ensure continued commitment to its Fairtrade City status

A full Fairtrade Town Goals and Action Guide is also available from the Fairtrade Foundation website.

Fairtrade motion to Full Council

Oxford Fair Trade Coalition - Motion from the Leader

This Council welcomes the initiatives by the Oxford Fair Trade Coalition to encourage the use of fair trade goods, notes that the Council, as an important consumer and opinion leader, should research, develop and support a strategy to facilitate fair trade where appropriate as part of its commitment to Local Agenda 21 and in pursuit of sustainable development.

It, therefore, resolves:

  1. to express its support for the Oxford Fair Trade Coalition and for the principles of fair trade
  2. to promote awareness of fair trade issues and the opportunities for supporting fair trade in the area
  3. to make publicity and educational information available to local people concerning the worldwide impact of unfair trade and the opportunities that fair trade provides for sustainable development
  4. to make the Council’s employees, the public and local businesses aware of the Council’s resolution on fair trade
  5. to encourage the use of fair trade goods, for example, products carrying Fair Trade mark and products in vending machines
  6. to request the Council’s venues to stock fair trade products in addition to other brands
  7. to integrate fair trade considerations into the Council’s Environment Plan in support of the Council’s corporate objective to improve the environment
  8. to nominate an officer to liaise with the Oxford Fair Trade Coalition on implementing the resolution
  9. to incorporate the fair trade initiative into Oxford’s bid to becomes a “City of Culture”
  10. to report annually on progress made with implementing this resolution