Paisley – Fair Trade Town as far back as 2003
The Convenor of the Parliament’s Cross Party Group on Fair Trade, Paisley’s George Adam, has welcomed the news that Scotland has reached the tight criteria in order to declare itself A Fair Trade Nation. This comes after government, businesses, public bodies and community organisations across Scotland came together to promote Fair Trade. This goal was reached as Fair Trade Fortnight is about to kick off.
Speaking on the achievement George said:
‘Like many others across Paisley and Renfrewshire I have been involved with fair trade organisations and the commendable work they do. Paisley was a trail-blazer becoming a Fair Trade Town as far back as 2003 and Renfrewshire was awarded Fair Trade Zone Status in 2009. It is the dedication of those that worked towards this and those across Scotland that has made this landmark possible. Fair mindedness, commitment and the outward looking character of the Scottish people have made this award possible and I congratulate every individual involved in making this a Fair Trade Nation’.
Speaking ahead of a visit today to the Urban Fox project in Glasgow, where he will launch an initiative to supply Fairtrade footballs to youth and sports groups in disadvantaged areas, Mr Yousaf said:
“We can all help through daily decisions about what we buy – it may not seem a big deal to buy Fair Trade products, but each time we do we help protect families and communities across the world. Scotland is a rich nation, and our values mean we are duty-bound to help those less fortunate.
“People in every city and across all local authority areas share a vision of Scotland as a good global citizen, committed to playing its part in addressing poverty.
“That vision includes our commitment to Malawi, to take the lead in climate change, to promote clean drinking water and explains why we have doubled our International Development Fund to £9 million since 2007/08.
“I thank every person, business and organisation who has helped Scotland towards achieving Fair Trade Nation status. In particular I commend the Scottish Fair Trade Forum, who have been instrumental in driving forward our Fair Trade Nation agenda.
“We must now build on today’s achievement and continue to work hard to encourage even greater Scottish support for Fair Trade.
“That work starts today as we launch the Fairtrade Football project – a brilliant lottery-funded initiative that will work with young people in disadvantaged areas to promote the use of Fairtrade footballs and raise awareness of fairness, equality and ethics in sport and trade.”
Martin Rhodes, Director of the Scottish Fair Trade Forum, said:
“Scotland achieving Fair Trade Nation status is the result of a grassroots campaign. People in all walks of life, across the country really are concerned about fairness in international trade and are prepared to act on that concern in their everyday purchasing decisions.”
To qualify for Fair Trade Nation status, the Scottish Fair Trade Forum (SFTF) was required to demonstrate how Scotland had met a series of stringent criteria, including:
• All seven Scottish cities and at least 55 per cent of local authority areas to have Fairtrade status.
• All 32 local authorities areas and at least 55 per cent of towns with a population of 5,000 or more to have active Fair Trade groups working towards Fairtrade status.
• At least 60 per cent of higher education institutions to have active Fair Trade groups working towards Fairtrade status.
• Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government to use, promote and make available Fair Trade products internally, and to actively promote Fairtrade Fortnight each year.
• Fair Trade to be promoted in schools through the curriculum, procurement and other possible means.
• Schools, Further Education Institutions, Faith Groups, Trade Unions, business networks, voluntary and youth organisations to pledge to use and promote Fair Trade.
• 75 per cent of people to buy a Fair Trade product every year.
• 40 per cent of people to regularly buy Fairtrade products.
The SFTF were awarded funding by the Scottish Government to coordinate the campaign for Scotland to meet the criteria necessary to become a Fair Trade Nation. The SFTF have been funded by Scottish Government since 2007. To date they have been awarded £847,254.
In November 2012, SFTF submitted its report, “Can Scotland call itself a Fair Trade Nation?” for rigorous review by a panel of independent assessors.
Fairtrade Fortnight runs from February 25 – March 10, 2013. A programme of events has been planned by SFTF and other Fair Trade bodies, including talks by Fair Trade producers, a Fairtrade Fair, a comedy night and a film showing. Further details can be found on the SFTF website (details below).
The Fairtrade Footballs project is undertaken by Fairpley Ltd on behalf of SFTF and has been awarded £9,675 from the Big Lottery Investing in Ideas Fund. The project will involve the development of a social enterprise that will work with young people from disadvantaged areas of Scotland to promote the use of Fairtrade footballs by their local youth groups and sports clubs.
For more about Scotland achieving Fair Trade status, visit: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/International/int-dev/FairTrade.
For more about the SFTF, visit: http://www.sftf.org.uk/
George Adam, Paisley’s Member of the Scottish Parliament, today [23/02/12] led a Members Debate in the Scottish Parliament on the new Fairtrade campaign ‘Take a Step in 2012’. Fairtrade Fortnight begins on the 27th February and runs until 11th March, and is the highlight of the Fairtrade calendar with many events happening all over Scotland.
George said, “I was delighted to secure a members debate on Fairtrade in the run up to Fairtrade Fortnight. I have been passionate about Fairtrade for years; it was actually hearing about child sweat-shops being used to manufacture some of the most popular clothes at the time, which eventually lead me onto finding out about Fairtrade. Nowadays, many top brands are Fairtrade, like Kit Kats and Cadbury’s Chocolate Buttons, which are a personal favorite of mine.
‘Fairtrade looks to guarantee fair prices for producers of many products, from coffee, tea, wine and cotton. Many of these producers are from third world countries and were exploited for years, being paid very poor prices. So the more people that turn to Fairtrade means more producers around the world will get a fair price for their produce, increasing their wage and raising their living standards.
‘Take a Step in 2012, is a campaign designed to make people aware that no matter how small a step they make for Fairtrade; even a small step is a good step. Whether you alert a friend to Fairtrade, change to Fairtrade coffee yourself, change your office to only use Fairtrade products, of turn your school into a Fairtrade one, these are all positive steps. Renfrewshire has been a Fairtrade Zone since 2009, with Paisley being a Fairtrade Town since 2007.
‘Council Leader Brian Lawson has done wonders for Fairtrade locally; I can vouch for this as I was on the Fairtrade Steering Group with him as a councilor, before I became the Co-Convener of the Cross Party Group on Fairtrade at the Scottish Parliament. 2012 is the also the year that Scotland hopes to become a Fairtrade country, like our Celtic cousin, Wales. The positive nature of the debate I had in Parliament can only bode well for Scotland’s chances and I would urge as many Buddies as possible to Take a Step, for Fairtrade, in 2012. “
The Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, who closed the debate said, “I echo the sentiments that have been expressed in the chamber and thank George Adam. An assessment panel will meet in the autumn to review our evidence and judge whether Scotland has achieved enough to become a Fairtrade nation. I am confident that we will have done so, but we have to strive to go beyond that.
‘Evidence suggests that fair trade sales are holding up, despite the recession. In 2010, sales of fair trade products soared by 40 per cent to an estimated retail value of £1.17 billion, and the Fairtrade Foundation is expected to reveal another increase in sales.”
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