04/12/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Chicago One Step Closer to Becoming Largest "Fair Trade Town" in North America

The Chicago City Council voted today to approve the Chicago Fair Trade resolution, an important first step in the effort to promote fair trade products in Chicago and fair labor conditions across the globe.

The city now meets the first of five requirements to become a Fair Trade Town and could earn Chicago the status of being the largest city in North America to earn such a designation, following in the footsteps of London, Rome and Barcelona.

A Fair Trade Town is any community in which people and organizations use their everyday choices to increase sales of fair trade products and help promote positive change for farmers and workers in developing countries. Since 2000, over 600 communities in three continents have worked to promote the ideals of Fair Trade Towns. 13 cities and towns in the United States that have already achieved this status.

In addition to passing a city-wide resolution, the five requirements needed for a city or town to be designated a fair trade town by the Fair Trade Towns USA include: developing a steering committee, increasing the availability and variety of fair trade products to local citizens, ensuring consumers are choosing fair trade products and increasing visibility of fair trade products to promote public support.