Case Study: Engage Your Town

Courtney Lang June 20, 2013
Case Study of how La Mesa, CA accomplished their third goal, Engage Your Town, and their tips for other campaigns. 
Nancy Ryan
La Mesa, CA


What was your goal when tasked with this criteria?

Our goal was to reach out to organizations and faith based communities within our city with the overall purpose of providing education regarding fair trade and promoting the use of fair trade products.  The intention was to spread the word about fair trade to as many in our community as possible.

What was your strategy?

We gave presentations to all the service organizations in our city and then followed up with the respective groups to encourage their use of fair trade coffee, tea, etc. at their functions and meetings.

We sent mailings to all the churches in the city with a letter regarding fair trade as a way to promote social justice, address the needs of the poor, and encourage environmental responsibility. We also enclosed our La Mesa Fair Trade Town brochures.

What are 3 tips for a group who wants to accomplish this criteria?

  1. Make as many contacts as possible through visits to various sites.
  2. Follow-up with faith-based communities and service organizations, asking for a signed  endorsement of fair trade.
  3. Distribute information, via a brochure, that provides an overview of fair trade principles, criteria, campaign goals, and local endorsements.


What did your campaign achieve? 

We increased the use of fair trade products in our city and also increased awareness of what fair trade means and how it addresses the needs of marginalized artisans and farmers in developing areas of the world.

How did you make it fun, positive and engaging for all.

Working for Fair Trade Town status was a collaborative effort which involved a lot of good communication.  We also held events which were both social and informational at a local coffee café. In addition, we sponsored gift fairs in order to make fair trade items available for purchase.How did you make it fun, positive and engaging for all.

La Mesa Fair Trade Facebook


One Comment

  1. Catholic Relief Services is so proud of Nancy and other Ambassadors around the country who serve the fair trade towns movment!
    Jackie DeCarlo

    Jackie DeCarlo - 11 years ago

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Courtney Lang, National Organizer | Fair Trade Campaigns

Courtney Lang brings over 5 years of community organizing to Fair Trade Towns USA, building both the Local Food and Fair Trade networks in Vermont. As Local Food Coordinator with City Market/Onion River Cooperative, Courtney worked with local producers, institutions and consumers to grow the local food system and organize a strategic model for community engagement through farm tours, workshops, and local food challenges. Like many in the Fair Trade industry, Courtney was inspired to take action in Fair Trade when she witnessed child-labor first hand in Costa Rica. As a founding member of Fair Trade Burlington, she has worked with economic development organizations, businesses, and consumers to build awareness of Fair Trade among Vermonters. She also worked with a Fair Trade USA licensee, Vermont Coffee Company, as Friend Ambassador where she united the story of Fair Trade to every purchase of coffee.