Support to establish Fairtrade towns
In a final push towards establishing Scotland as a Fair Trade Nation, the Scottish Fair Trade Forum is to receive funding to increase the number of Fairtrade towns, Fiona Hyslop announced today.
Currently there are 61 Fairtrade towns in Scotland that have either achieved Fairtrade status or have active Fair Trade Steering Groups, and it is expected that at least another 22 will be on their way to fair-trade status by establishing steering groups, before the end of the year – meeting one of the last remaining criteria before Scotland can be declared a Fair Trade Nation.
The £307,347 funding, announced by the Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs at a Scottish Fair Trade Forum event, includes support for a new Fairtrade towns Development Officer position to take this work forward. This funding continues to support two other roles at the Forum, all starting to take forward the next phase of the Fair Trade Nation process, building on what has already been achieved and to ensure this is sustained for many years to come.
Ms Hyslop also today met Norma Gadea Paiva, a Fairtrade coffee farmer from Nicaragua, who is talking at events across the central belt and western Highlands about her experiences of fair trade.
Norma Gadea Paiva is one of several producers visiting the UK and Scotland over Fairtrade Fortnight 2012, and one of many women. Supporting women through the Fairtrade system and during Fairtrade Fortnight illustrates the importance of the issues of gender inequality and addressing human rights for women.
By becoming a Fair Trade Nation, Scotland will deliver a real and lasting impact in the fight against global poverty.
Addressing an audience from Edinburgh University and the Scottish Fair Trade Forum, Ms Hyslop said:
“Since the first Fairtrade towns in Scotland – Strathaven and Aberfeldy – were established, many have followed. Each Fairtrade town has been established through the hard work of local people with a global focus. I pay tribute to their work and to the difference it has made to hundreds of thousands of families around the world.
“This funding will support the extension of that network of Fairtrade Towns to meet and exceed the Fair Trade Nation criterion of 55 per cent of Scottish towns with that status.”
Director of the Scottish Fair Trade Forum Martin Rhodes said:
“The Scottish Fair Trade Forum is delighted at this continued and increased support from the Scottish Government. It will help to take Scotland to Fair Trade Nation status and to deepening our commitment to international trade justice.”
Fairtrade towns in Scotland refers to towns with a population of over 5,000.
The funding for the Scottish Fair Trade Forum includes a new Fairtrade Towns Development Officer post, which will be a dedicated resource to take forward the work for Scotland to become a Fair Trade Nation.
Fairtrade Fortnight takes place from Monday February 27 to Sunday March 11. The theme for this year is ‘Take A Step’. The UK body, the Fairtrade Foundation, want everyone to take a step for fair trade to bring a brighter future to farming communities in the developing world.
Edinburgh University has a sustainability policy which includes a commitment to fair trade. The University has a very active fair trade movement which has been driven by the Edinburgh University Students Association. It is to their credit that Edinburgh became Scotland's first Fairtrade University in 2004.