Awards Toolkit for Communities

We’ve created this toolkit to help you reach out to local organisations and make the South West Fair Trade Business Awards work for you and your community. Please note the date of the ceremony has changed and the toolkit has been updated to reflect this change.

The Awards are a non-profit making scheme, and a tool to be used by any Fairtrade Town, sustainable food network, local authority—or even just a passionate group of Fair Trade advocates—to grow Fair Trade in the places you live and work.


The Awards are administered by Bristol Fair Trade Network, but no one knows your local business community as well as you – the locals!

Everything you need to know before you start...

What are the South West Fair Trade Business Awards?

Simply, the South West Fair Trade Business Awards are an awards scheme designed to celebrate organisations that support Fair Trade, and push them to go that extra mile to end trade injustice. In 2020, the Awards will be celebrating their 8th year showcasing ethical businesses across the region. Read more about the Awards here.

Why businesses?

No matter their size or activity, businesses hold the key to embedding Fair Trade in communities. Their reach to customers and employees, their resource and skills, not to mention their enormous collective buying power, all make local business invaluable allies in the campaign for Fair Trade. Each year, the collective spend of award applicants on Fair Trade certified products reaches several millions of pounds, and there’s potential for more.

When and where are the next Awards taking place?

The 2020 ceremony will take place on the morning of Friday 15th May 2020, in a central Bristol location yet to be revealed.

How can organisations enter?

Applications are free and will be open from Monday 20th January until Friday 3rd April 2020, the link to applications will be published on our Awards website. Organisations can enter as many categories as they like.

What type of organisations can enter?

There’s a category to suit almost any type of organisation – take a look at our Awards website for a full list. The Awards aren’t just for businesses that sell or manufacture Fair Trade products (though there are categories to suit them too), they’re also for any organisation that uses Fair Trade products behind the scenes—perhaps in an office or staff room—or that promotes Fair Trade to their staff and customers. This means that a huge range of organisations in your community may be eligible to enter—from a high street hairdresser with only a handful of employees, to the local university engaging thousands of students in Fair Trade campaigns.

What do winners receive?

All winners of a South West Fair Trade Business Award receive:

  • A free ticket to the Award Ceremony
  • A high-quality personalised certificate
  • Access to award e-logos to use freely on their online and print material
  • Access to professional photographs from the ceremony
  • A listing in our Local Fair Traders online directory
  • A press release template to help them communicate the news of their win
  • In addition, category winners and the overall winner will receive an exclusive personalised Bristol Blue Glass trophy

How can I get organisations on board?

You can use the materials in this toolkit to engage businesses in various ways, but you’ll probably find that different organisations respond to different approaches. If your community is small, dropping into businesses in person might be a good starting point—you can make an appointment to come back if they’re busy.

We’ve also included material to reach businesses through email, postcards and posters, social media, plus a template to reach the local press. If you have your own mailing lists, be sure to regularly share information on the Awards throughout the year; you can keep up to date with developments on our Awards pages, or by signing up to our business mailing list.

No matter how you go about it, recruiting a team of advocates is a good way of reaching a wider network of organisations.

Where can I look for help in spreading the word?

Local business development networks, such as those representing a specific geographic zone or a particular type of business, are a brilliant way to reach lots of organisations in one go. Let them know that the Awards are a great way for businesses to show their customers that they care about ethical trade and sustainability. The local authority might be able to reach a wide network of organisations too—try contacting their economic development department, or get in touch with your local councillor for advice on tapping into the council. Engaging with the Awards might be the perfect way for your local council to achieve their targets on Fair Trade, sustainable business, or the Sustainable Development Goals, for example. If your local area is lucky enough to have a sustainability network, ask them to include news of the Awards in their communications to businesses. Engaging with Fair Trade in this way can contribute to schemes such as Sustainable Food Cities and, of course, applications for Fairtrade Town status, so look for any group behind such initiatives and ask them to spread the word.

What if organisations aren’t engaged in Fair Trade?

The Awards are a great incentive to encourage organisations to take their first steps towards supporting Fair Trade. The Awards have been designed to make a Bronze level award very achievable for most businesses—the first step on their way to winning Gold in future years!

Are there any costs involved in entering and attending the Awards?

The Awards are free to enter, and every applicant receives one free ticket to the ceremony (for each of their applications). Further tickets will be available to purchase at £15 each.

Get in touch

If you’d like to discuss the Awards in more detail, or talk to us about reaching the organisations in your area, please don’t hesitate to get in touch on

Advocates offer!

As an advocate for Fair Trade in your community, for every three organisations* you recruit in your area you can claim one free ticket to the South West Fair Trade Business Awards 2020 ceremony. Email us to tell us which organisations you've recruited.

*Applies to organisations that have not entered in the previous 2 years.