Media Release: National Fair Trade celebration this weekend

A NATIONAL Fair Trade Festival will take place in Perth on Saturday 7 September, to celebrate Scotland’s Fair Trade Nation status achievement earlier this year.

Scotland is only the second nation after Wales to have achieved Fair Trade Nation status, after meeting criteria set out in 2006 by the Welsh Assembly Government and the then Scottish Executive.

Scotland’s national campaign towards achieving Fair Trade Nation status was established one year later in 2007 with support from the Scottish Government and campaigners all over Scotland.

Since the campaign’s launch in 2007, Scotland has seen a marked advance in Fair Trade throughout the country as more people become more conscientious about not only where their products come, from but also who produces them and under what conditions.

Says a spokesperson: “Awareness about Fair Trade since 2006 has risen from 64 per cent to 87 per cent of the Scottish population in 2013, in an online poll carried out by Progressive Scottish Opinion among 1071 adults.”

The national Fair Trade Festival aims to celebrate this achievement by honouring individuals and organisations that have had a major impact on Fair Trade in Scotland, who will be presented with awards by Humza Yousaf MSP, Minister for External Affairs and International Development.

The Minister will be speaking earlier in the day about the importance of supporting Fair Trade, and how to develop Fair Trade policy in Scotland.

External Affairs Minister, Mr Yousaf, said: “I’m very pleased to be presenting Scotland’s first ever Fair Trade Awards, honouring those who have championed Fair Trade across the country.

“Supporting Fair Trade is something we can all do, easily, readily, conveniently; with Fairtrade products available in every shop, in every village, town and city in the country we can put a Fairtrade product in our basket or trolley and quite literally improve the quality of someone’s life.

“There is more to be done, however. Achieving Fair Trade Nation Status shows that many people are supporting Fair Trade all across the country, but we must continue to encourage everybody to become involved.”

The festival also hopes to engage new audiences in what will be an inclusive day of family fun, balanced with serious debates about the future of Fair Trade, recent scandals in the supply chain and ways to encourage companies to put people before profit.

Fair Trade representatives from the Fairtrade Foundation, Traidcraft, the British Association of Fair Trade Shops and Suppliers (BAFTS), and Fair Trade Wales are billed to speak at the event.

A message of support from the First Minster of Wales will also be transmitted.

Producers and importers from Ethiopia, Indonesia and Mongolia will be giving presentations on the positive impact that Fair Trade has had on communities.

Throughout the day, schools will be putting on performances about their understanding of Fair Trade and broadcaster, Tom Morton, will be talking about the Fairly Long Cycle Ride he undertook last year in support of the Fair Trade Nation campaign.

The programme will hope to stimulate debate about Scotland’s role on the world stage, particularly as it relates to supporting partners in developing countries get out of poverty.

It aims to further embed the values of Fair Trade among the Scottish people to further nurture fair relations between consumers and producers in modern Scotland.

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Editor’s Notes

The Scottish Fair Trade Forum was founded in 2007 to help Scotland become one of the world’s first Fair Trade Nations, which was achieved in February 2013.  Through its work with other Fair Trade bodies in the UK and beyond, the organisation engages directly with many Fair Trade groups, schools, universities, local authorities and others to support ongoing fair trade activity and encourage it to grow stronger.

The Scottish Fair Trade Forum is a Scottish charity (SC039883) and a Scottish company (SC337384). Registered office: Thistle Court, 1-2 Thistle Street, Edinburgh EH2 1DD.

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Contact: Deirdre Muldowney
Phone: 01312266162