Scotland celebrates as it is named one of the world's first Fair Trade Nations.
Did you know that Scotland was one of the first countries in the world to be named a Fair Trade Nation. 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:
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.