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Scotland: a Fair Trade nation
Scotland is today (Tuesday, 26th February) celebrating after being named one of the world’s first Fair Trade Nations.
The news comes at the start of Fairtrade Fortnight 2013 and follows a nationwide campaign led by the Scottish Fair Trade Forum that has seen the people of Scotland rally behind Fair Trade principles.
The accolade means people, government, businesses, public bodies and community organisations across Scotland have come together to meet stringent criteria designed to promote Fair Trade.
Speaking ahead of a visit 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, International Development Minister Mr Humza Yousafr 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, added “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.
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.