What is Fair Trade?
Scotland hosts Fair Trade leaders to launch the International Fair Trade Charter and define vision for a fairer world
MANY people use the term, ‘fair trade’, but what does it actually mean?
Today, the Scottish Fair Trade Forum is uniting with 250 organisations around the world to launch an International Fair Trade Charter that sets down the fundamental values of Fair Trade and defines a common vision towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The charter has been initiated by Fairtrade International and the World Fair Trade Organization, and leading figures from both networks will be in Edinburgh to celebrate the launch of the charter.
A recent United Nations report  shows that hunger has actually risen in the past three years after a long period of decline, leaving one in nine people undernourished. While the world economy has grown, according to the World Inequality Report: “At the global level, inequality has risen sharply since 1980”. 
The International Fair Trade Charter advocates trade structures, business models and practices that allows everyone, through their work, to maintain a decent and dignified livelihood and develop their full human potential.
Erinch Sahan, chief executive of the World Fair Trade Organization, and Michael Gidney, chief executive of the Fairtrade Foundation, will speak about the charter today at the Scottish Parliament, and will urge organisations and individuals to pledge support for it.
The event in Edinburgh is being hosted by the Scottish Fair Trade Forum and Colin Smyth MSP, convenor of the Cross Party Group on Fair Trade in the Scottish Parliament.
Colin Smyth commented: “Scotland, as the world’s second Fair Trade Nation, has a long-standing commitment to Fair Trade. We’re delighted to welcome Erinch and Michael to Scotland to mark the launch of this important charter and look forward to using it as a tool to guide our Fair Trade activities as we work collaboratively to achieve the SDGs.”
Said Martin Rhodes, chief executive of the Scottish Fair Trade Forum: “By supporting Fair Trade producers and businesses, advocating to transform the rules of global trade and buying Fair Trade products, we can all act to make sustainable and fair development a reality.”
Dario Soto Abril, global chief executive officer of Fairtrade International, said: “Trade can and should be used as a tool to help close the gaps across society. For decades, the Fair Trade movement has pioneered approaches that have the potential to transform the broader global economy. The International Fair Trade Charter provides a point of reference and inspiration for others to follow suit.”
Added Erinch Sahan, chief executive of the World Fair Trade Organization: “We see spiralling inequality and entrenched poverty because businesses and trade have been shaped to prioritise profits above all else. Fair Trade shows that a better way is possible. Our new charter shows how our vision and experience can help reshape business and trade around the world.”
For further information contact:
Colleen Tait, Scottish Fair Trade Forum
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Scottish Fair Trade Forum contact details…
Contact: Colleen Tait