(BLOOMINGTON) - Bloomington is officially a "Fair Trade Town."
The city council convened in a special session Wednesday night to discuss a resolution officially endorsing a sustainable purchasing policy.
Bloomington is now the first town in the state to have such a distinction.
Jimmy Jenkins of WFIU reports that Councilman Chris Sturbaum presented the resolution to designate Bloomington as a "Fair Trade Town."
While Bloomington is the first community in Indiana to take such a step, the city joins more than 30 other Fair Trade Towns around the country.
According to Fare Trade USA - a national non-profit certification group - fair trade products are guaranteed to be the result of fair and safe working conditions, responsible environmental practices and a fair price paid to the producer.
Mary Embry is the founder and board president of Fair Trade Bloomington. Her group has lead the effort seeking the designation by garnering support from local organizations and companies. Involving city government was the last step in the process.
When asked if the fair trade movement detracts from the local food movement, Embry said the two actually go hand in hand. She says fair trade practices are a big part of helping small communities in foreign countries sustain their way of life.
Language in the resolution directs the city to seek out Fair Trade products when purchasing food, beverages or concessions. But as Councilman Sturbaum says, it's not a mandate - it's more of an effort to make people aware of their individual purchasing power.
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