Taipei targets fair trade city accreditation

A comprehensive promotion campaign aimed at convincing residents of the merits of attaining fair trade city accreditation for Taipei was announced June 11 by the local government.

“This initiative is part of an overarching civic goal to rebrand our metropolis as one of culture and bring it more in line with those in other parts of the world,” Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je said.

The mayor made the remarks during a news conference at Taipei City Hall in Xinyi District. Others attending included Ayan Banerjee, chief executive of Network of Asia and Pacific Producers, and Syoko Akashi, representative of the fair trade city steering committee of Kumamoto—the first city in Asia to gain accreditation.

Five goals need to be accomplished before a city can be certified as a fair trade town. These include passing a resolution supporting fair trade by the local council, creating a steering group representing different sectors to coordinate related actions and offering a wide range of qualified products in the marketplace, according to Ko.

While fair trade city is a popular concept in the West, Ko said, it has only recently begun gaining acceptance in Asia.

“It is important for local community groups, media outlets, places of worship and schools to get behind the concept and help ensure Taipei becomes the third metropolis in the region to gain accreditation after Kumamoto and Seoul.”

Yu Wan-ju, chairwoman of Taipei-based fair trade concept promoter Okogreen Co. Ltd, said there are over 100 accredited retail outlets in the city. “As soon as the local government passes the required legislation, Taipei stands at a very good chance at gaining the much sought-after status next year.”

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