DISCUSSION

Fair Trade Cities in Japan

By Staff Writer
January 06, 2023
Fair Trade is an international cooperation activity to support self-reliance and environmental conservation in developing countries by purchasing goods at prices that guarantee fair wages and working conditions to producers in developing countries.

The promotion of fair trade also contributes to achieving global SDGs such as the eradication of poverty and hunger, and the protection of the environment.
Coffee beans with a label over them reading
The "Fair Trade Town Movement." It is a growing movement by government, businesses, stores, and citizen groups who agree to work together in order to contribute to the independence of producers in developing countries who are in a disadvantaged or vulnerable position, and to the protection and conservation of the environment by working together to expand the circle of fair trade.
Workers in Africa haul large bags full of harvested
In Japan, a total of six cities have been certified as Fair Trade Towns: Kumamoto, which became Japan's first Fair Trade Town in 2011; Nagoya (2015); Zushi (2016); Hamamatsu (2017); Sapporo (2019); and Inabe (2019). In addition, work is underway to become Fair Trade Towns by citizen groups in Tarui in Gifu Prefecture, Niigata City in Niigata Prefecture, Setagaya Ward in Tokyo, and many other locations.

There are six criteria for towns to be certified as Fair Trade Town.
  • 1. Establishment of an organization to promote fair trade and expansion of the support base
  • 2. Development of a movement and public awareness
  • 3. Penetration into the local community
  • 4. Contribution to local revitalization
  • 5. Extensive offering of Fairtrade products by local commercial establishments
  • 6. Support and promotion of Fairtrade by local governments

Each community has adopted their own methods of promoting fair trade within the city. Kumamoto publishes leaflets on fair trade and seasonal markets featuring fair trade, Nagoya publishes a tourist map showing where local fair trade shops are, and Inabe city in Mie Prefecture holds various events to promote fair trade, such as exhibitions of traditional broidery from Laos, and events to encourage people to visit all of the local stores that sell fair trade products.
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