Monday, July 12, 2010

Berkeley to Become a Fair Trade City

By Lindsay Wasserberger
Mon, Jul 12, 2010 at 4:17 PM

The Berkeley City Council will vote Tuesday night on a resolution formally declaring the city to be a supporter of international fair trade, a movement that advocates worker equity and sustainable development. The resolution was drafted by the Fair Trade Berkeley Steering Committee and the City Manager’s Office.

Under the resolution, the city would commit to purchasing fair trade products when they’re readily available, city-standard compliant, and competitively priced. “For a long time the city has supported healthy working conditions, fair wages, and environmentally friendly production methods,” said Sharon Thygesen, the city's general services manager. “We try to look at fair trade products and this resolution codifies that.”

If adopted, the city would also “consider” working to ensure ongoing education about fair trade and taking a more active role in the movement’s future issues. As an item on the council’s consent calendar, the resolution is expected to pass, barring any objections from the public. If passed, Berkeley will join San Francisco, Chico and sixteen other US cities as a fair trade city.

The city council meeting will be held on the second floor of 2134 Martin Luther King Jr. Way at 7 p.m.

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