The city of Nagoya won recognition Saturday as Japan's second "fair trade town" for promoting trade with producers in developing countries under fair conditions, including premium prices.
According to Fair Trade Forum Japan, a Tokyo-based organization promoting the international movement in Japan, Nagoya has met the six requirements for recognition, including the presence of at least one fair trade shop per 10,000 residents and support from local authorities. The city has a population of nearly 2.3 million.
The fair trade movement is a consumer initiative that began in Garstang, England, which was declared the first fair trade town in 2000. There are now over 1,700 fair trade towns in 26 countries, mostly in Europe but also in the Americas and some other regions, according to the Fairtrade Towns website.
Following in the footsteps of Kumamoto, which became Asia's first municipality to win the status in 2011, citizens in Nagoya began a full-fledged campaign in 2013 by launching the Fair Trade Nagoya Network.
It won support in a resolution from the city assembly in March as well as the backing of Mayor Takashi Kawamura.
"We hope to promote fair trade in collaboration with the city from now on," said Satomi Harada, the leader of the network.