The Fair Trade Way

It is estimated that between 1.5 and 2.5 billion people have little or no access to the most basic of human needs. Much of this can be attributed to unfair trading systems.

The Fair Trade Way is a long-distance heritage trail on the three related local themes of fair trade, the British Atlantic slave trade and the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). The 6-day walk links Fairtrade Towns between Garstang (The World’s first Fair Trade Town) and Keswick. It was created to promote the positive impact that using Fair Trade products can have on the lives of people who suffer whilst they produce the resources that we in the more wealthy countries consume in our everyday lives. Whilst following the route, walkers are encouraged to endorse the principles of Fair Trade by enjoying Fair Trade food and beverages where possible. If required, they can also seek out accommodation that use Fair Trade products.

The Fair Trade Way criteria:

  1. Each day should (where possible) start and end in a Fair Trade town, city, village or island.
  2. Actual and potential premises for Fair Trade refreshment should be included on the routes.
  3. Places of national scenic, historic, environmental and/or cultural importance should be included.
  4. Where possible roads are to be avoided and Public Rights of Way should be used.


January 2017 update – THE INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF FAIR TRADE WALKS – Literary Walks, March & April 2017

The first Festival of Fair Trade Walks will focus on three themes: walking, Fair Trade and local literary connections.  Groups will be encouraged to organise walks during the months of March and April 2017 with options of walking on International Poetry Day (21 March) or during Fairtrade Fortnight in the UK.  As part of the Festival FIG Tree volunteers will walk a new branch of the Fair Trade Way from Grasmere to Pooley Bridge to commemorate the anniversary of Wordsworth’s ‘Daffodil Walk’ on 15th April 2017 (see below).


  1. Incorporating Fair Trade into the walk

The walks should start, finish or stop by at least one Fair Trade entity.  Walks can take place from or between Fair Trade Towns, cafes, schools, businesses or groups. Examples of walks:

  • Between one Fair Trade Town to another Fair Trade Town
  • From a Fair Trade school to a café or business selling Fair Trade products
  • From a Fair Trade site to a site of literary importance

There are many possible combinations and it is up to the local group/school/organisation to decide where they want to go and how to incorporate the themes of Fair Trade and literary connections into their walks.

Participants are encouraged to eat Fair Trade snacks along the way and wear Fair Trade clothes etc during the walks.

  1. Literary Connections

Examples of literary connections could be:

  • Walking on the day of a local writer or poet’s birthday
  • Inviting a local writer to take part in the walk
  • Walks exploring a writer or poet’s local connections e.g passing by their homes and the places which inspired and influenced them.
  1. Share your walk

For further information and to share your walk visit The Scottish Fair Trade Forum (SFTF) dedicated webpage. Groups can also join the Festival of Fair Trade Walks Facebook Group to share ideas and photos to inspire others.

Groups so far taking Part

  1. The FIG Tree, Lancaster, UK – Saturday 15th April. Distance: 16.5 miles.  Start time: 9am. Expected end time: 5pm. Starting from the car park alongside Eusemere Lodge (previous home of slave trade abolitionist Thomas Clarkson), Pooley Bridge to Dove Cottage (previous home of William Wordsworth), Grasmere this new branch of the Fair Trade Way will  trace the path taken by Clarkson in visiting his friend, fellow abolitionist and poet. It will pass by the site that inspired Wordsworth’s most famous work “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” when the poet took the reverse route to visit Clarkson. The walk will take place on 15th April 2017, exactly 215 years after Wordsworth came across the “long belt” of daffodils with his sister Dorothy.                                              Contact:                                                              
  2. Fair Trade Wales – Idris Davies walk in the Rhymney Valley – Saturday 11th March
  1. Fair Trade Scotland – Details To be confirmed 
  2. Bradford Fairtrade Zone and Bronte Society event – “Walk the Talk, the Bronte Way” from
    Thornton (Bronte birthplace) to Haworth (Bronte home), 8m. Friday 21st April. 9.30 for 10am start at St. James’ Church, Thornton.
  3. Baskinta Baytouna Association, Baskinta, Lebanon – Details To be confirmed

Important Note: The initial Fair Trade Way and these related walks are arranged by volunteers and any groups taking part in the Festival of Fair Trade Walks are responsible for their own health and safety.

The Co-op is kindly supporting the 2017 International Festival of Fair Trade Walks.

The Co-op is kindly supporting the 2017 International Festival of Fair Trade Walks.

Read a summary of the Fair Trade Way route here.

Read “The Story of the Fair Trade Way” here