Fair Trade in Scotland: review

Explores Scotland’s potential to achieve inclusive growth through the delivery of increased sales and awareness of Fair Trade.

Appendix 2: Feedback from facilitated Workshops at SFTF Campaigner's Conference

Motherwell: Saturday 7 September 2019

What are the factors / characteristics that distinguish the fair trade market in Scotland?

Association with faith groups

Lidl and Aldi have done a lot to promote Fair Trade

Diversity and distribution of Fair Trade retailers - mitigates risk of fair trade market collapsing Fair Trade identity within local authorities

Fair Trade campaigns e.g. school-wear, nurseries and Fair Trade town groups

Existence of the Scottish Fair Trade Forum - sharing ideas through members' meetings in regional areas

The nature of Scottish people i.e. justice-minded & community-based

We have our own political structure (international development is a devolved issue) Cross-party group on Fair Trade

Strong Scottish association with like-minded political parties

What more could be done at national level to help support and promote FT sales growth

What sells well?

  • Coffee, tea, chocolate, sugar and bananas
  • Cheap sells well
  • Crafts & wooden toys

What's unique to Scotland?

  • Fair Trade tartan
  • One of a few Fair Trade Nations

Successes / strengths?

  • Customers «joining the dots» to environmental etc. issues
  • Strong retailers - JTS, Bala Sports etc.

Unique opportunities

  • Linking to environmental issues
  • Tourism
  • Councils
  • T Shirts
  • Sports Balls

What more could be done at National level to help & promote FT sales & growth?

  • More help and support from the Scottish Government to promote the fact we are a Fair Trade Nation. There is not enough recognition of the responsibilities our nation has in order to maintain our status.
  • The Scottish Government should support verification of suppliers bidding for public sector contracts through third party verification programmes (e.g. Fairtrade and WFTO).
  • More support for Fair Trade retailers to win public sector tenders (especially direct purchases and call offs) e.g. advice in being tender-ready and reduced fees for entry into Dynamic Purchasing System. Some Fair Trade suppliers are not aware of how they can even add their products on these systems.

It should be noted that further procurement of Fair Trade goods in the public sector was mentioned several times**

  • Political Parties to draft motions to support & promote FT Draft a new cross-party charter to Councils to support FT
  • Scottish Youth Forum (Scottish Young people's FT Network?) to make links with Scottish Government to promote FT amongst youth post early years
  • Increase investment in FT business in Scotland
  • Should Scotland have its own register of Fair Trade towns, cities and local authorities? Could a different model be used to assess whether Scotland can call itself a Fair Trade nation?
  • Charitable organisations (e.g. the National Trust) and social enterprises also have a responsibility to source ethically. More should be done to spread awareness of Fair Trade principles to such organisations and what they can do to help.
  • We need greater links between Governmental International Aid and achieving Fair Trade outcomes
  • Education publicising Fair Trade practices
  • More public sector organisations should adhere to the Electronics Watch code of conduct.

In your experience what are the key needs / gaps in the delivery of FT Promotion?

  • There is growing concern that older Fair Trade groups throughout Scotland are not able to involve young people who will be able to carry on the sentiment for Fair Trade in their local communities.
  • More faith groups and religious leaders should be involved in Fair Trade. Is there scope for more to sign the International Charter and to procure more after their services?
  • Sometimes more affluent areas are less likely to support Fair Trade Public sector bodies do not buy ethically
  • Availability of product - not always nationwide coverage

Where is awareness poorest?

  • Areas without independent retailers, e.g. Hadeel, Rainbow Turtle, One World etc. Lack of coverage in media
  • We need to change the sentiment behind Fair Trade. The general public believe Fair Trade campaigns to be completed or failed. They don't seem to understand there is still so much to do.
  • Further need for myth-busting e.g. FT is more expensive and doesn't taste as good. People don't know what it means to be a FT town/zone/nation

What do we need more of?

  • Social Enterprises that support Fair Trade Ambassadors for FT
  • Educating to be a Global Citizen
  • Make people aware that Fair Trade supports eco-friendly producers We need a new award to recognise Fair Trade employers
  • We need better literacy when it comes to Fair Trade
  • Education on syllabus for national exams and provision of courses at higher and further educational levels. Also, further funding for nurseries programme
  • A series of articles on Fair Trade in The Times educational supplement and government/public sector modes of communication
  • Increase in public sector procurement More trade shows / exhibitions
  • More Scottish Government support for FT businesses (training/ tax relief / access to export markets)
  • Support for FT businesses to compete with larger multiples


Email: estelle.jones@gov.scot

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