Scottish Fair Trade Forum
February 2013

Following the official announcement of Scotland’s Fair Trade Nation status on 25 February 2013, two events took place in Glasgow to mark the celebration and the launch of Fairtrade Fortnight. 

Football with Urban Fox
Humza Yousaf MSP, Minister for External Relations and International Development, announced the news of Fair Trade Nation status early on 25 February and then joined the launch of the ‘Fairtrade Footballs’ project at the Urban Fox project, a community group in the East End of Glasgow. The project is aimed at involving young people in exploring the possibility of a social enterprise in Scotland supplying Fairtrade footballs. A group of keen young footballers from Quarry Brae Primary School held a training session with the Minister using ‘Ethletic’ and ‘Faircorp’ Fairtrade footballs.

Launch event
An evening event held in Glasgow’s Lighthouse Centre marked the beginning of Fairtrade Fortnight and Scotland’s Fair Trade Nation status. The event featured a panel discussion, chaired by Martin Meteyard, Chair of the Forum. Humza Yousaf MSP spoke of his pleasure to announce the confirmation of Fair Trade Nation status and verified the importance of consumer power. Justine Watalunga, a coffee farmer from Uganda, shared her story of Fair Trade and highlighted how the stability of working in a co-operative, on top of the Fair Trade Premium, has made vast improvements to the lives of those living in her village. Martin Rhodes, Director of the Forum, closed the talks with a review of the significance of Scotland achieving Fair Trade Nation status and thanked those that had worked tirelessly to lead us to a Fair Trade Nation. 

It was a very successful night with more than 80 Fairtrade supporters getting together. Commendations from the Welsh First Minister were read out along with a message from Betsy Reed, the Forum’s former Director. The audience were invited to contribute their thoughts on what Fair Trade Nation status means to them through the sticky notes which will soon become part of an art project to mark the achievement of Fair Trade Nation status.

Comedy at The Stand
Susan Morrison hosted a Fair Trade benefit comedy night on 26 February at The Stand in Edinburgh. A well-attended event with several MSPs, Donald Wilson, the Lord Provost of Edinburgh, and Rory Bremner in the audience saw the renowned Scottish comedians Phil Differ and Vladimir McTavish perform. Scottish football character Bob Doolally closed the night with a sketch entirely devoted to Football – a fitting theme as the launch of the ‘Fairtrade Football’ programme aims to promote fairly made, and fairly traded, footballs to communities in Scotland. 

The night was a huge success – a raffle organised by the Scottish Fair Trade Forum featuring prizes raised almost £100. In additions, The Stand allowed use of the venue free of charge and all comedians donated their time freely.

First Annual Fair Trade Nation Lecture 
The Inaugural Fair Trade Nation Lecture was held in the University of Edinburgh’s New College on 27 February 2013. It was hosted by the Scottish Fair Trade Forum in conjunction with Just Trading Scotland and the Centre for Theology and Public Studies of the University of Edinburgh. Humza Yousaf MSP, Minister for External Affairs and International Development, inaugurated the lecture with an overview of the significance of Scotland’s position as a good global citizen, committed to addressing poverty in the developed world.  

Dr. Alastair M. Smith, Research Fellow of Cardiff University’s School of Planning and Geography, gave a lecture on the contribution of Fair Trade to international development with specific reference to the legacy of David Livingstone. Dr. Smith urged the importance of Fair Trade organisations going ‘above and beyond’ the certification process and warned against using the Fair Trade concept as a marketing tool for commercial gain. 

First Fairtrade crisps launched in Scotland
Plantain Chips, the first and only Fairtrade crisps in the UK market, were launched in Edinburgh to mark Scotland’s achievement of a Fair Trade Nation status. Plantain Chips is a joint product of two Fair Trade companies in Scotland, Fair Business Alliance Ltd and Fair Trade Scotland Ltd. 

Plantain Chips has been launched in different events in Edinburgh during Fairtrade Fortnight. On 27 February, at the First Fair Trade Nation Lecture, this new product was introduced to and tested by Fairtrade supporters at a reception. On 28 February, another tasting event was held at the Single Malt Whisky Society, where single malt whiskies were specially selected for the distinctive flavours of Plantain Chips. 


Visitor/Producer events
Fairtrade Fortnight in Scotland is hosting seven visitors from global producing countries. Justine Watalunga, a coffee farmer from Uganda, is making her first visit to the UK as a guest of the Fairtrade Foundation. The events she has covered so far feature talks at Whitmuir Farm in Selkirk, Berwickshire High School in Duns and an event in Hawick, with many more to come. 

Wipa Salabsang and Pimjai Intanan are representatives from Y-Development, a craft organisation in northern Thailand. Based around Inverness and visiting northern Scotland, they have given talks and presentations in Orkney, Elgin, Strathpeffer and Aberdeenshire. 

Howard Msukwa, a rice farmer from the Karonga district of Malawi, has been travelling with Henry Kalomba, the regional manager of the National Smallholders Farmers’ Association of Malawi. Together they have given talks at Coatbridge School, Buchanan High and Motherwell College in addition to getting involved with a Fairtrade Football tournament in Paisley. They also attended as guest speakers the Cross Party Group on Fair Trade in the Scottish Parliament.

Tomy Mathew Vadakkancheril owns family land in Kerala in India which produces coffee, spices and coconuts amongst other products for the Fairtrade market. He has co-founded the Fair Trade Alliance Kerala and has recently become part of an international nut producer’s co-operative. This experience, along with being on the Fairtrade Foundation UK board, has set him in good stead speaking at all kinds of events including an assembly at Larbert High School and a class at Bo’ness school, while taking part in the Jubilee Debt Campaign. 

Douglas Lopez is the manager of a grower’s co-operative in the highlands of Guatemala. His co-operative is mostly concerned with producing responsibly grown Arabica coffee for Fair Trade markets. Douglas as a guest of the Co-operative has travelled with his interpreter to events at Brechin High School and Montrose in addition to an event with Edinburgh’s Lord Provost at Holyrood High School in which Douglas gave a presentation. 

Taysir Arbasi, a director of Zaytoun, a pioneering Fair Trade initiative in Palestine, spent the weekend in central Scotland. He gave talks at events in Alva, and Stirling on 1 March, the following day he got involved with Fair Trade groups at Balfron and Bridge of Allan. 

Still to come…. 

Fairtrade Fortnight is not over! Four days of events remain including;

8 March
- Howard Msukwa and Henry Kalomba will be speaking in Inverclyde
- Tomy Mathew Vadakkancheril will speak in Edinburgh and Stirling

9 March
- Tomy Mathew Vadakkancheril will be helping out at a Fair Trade stall at Out of the Blue Drill Hall, Leith, Edinburgh.

Please check the website for further details and times.

Make a date
Equal Exchange shows 14 short films about Fair Trade at Summerhall (the former Royal School of Veterinary Studies in Edinburgh) from 4 PM on Sunday 10 March. Reception and 'meet the stars' follow. Call 0845 874 3000 or e-mail for more.

Hadeel - Palcraft holds a re-opening party with Humza Yousaf MSP, Minister for External Affairs and International Development. After ten years of successful trading at 58 Shandwick Place, the shop has relocated to 123 George Street, Edinburgh EH2 4JN. The event kicks off at 17:30 on Wednesday 13 March 2013 in the new George Street shop. For more info, call 0131 225 1922 or visit Hadeel's website

Please check our new website's event page for more events.

Get beyond 100 tonnes!

JTS 100 tonnes stamp

Since Just Trading Scotland (JTS) was formed in 2009, it has been busy importing Kilombero rice from Malawi. The company’s founding director, John Riches, visited Malawi in 2008, where he learned how vital cash from rice is for people's livelihoods. He also learned that a farmer selling 90kg of rice could earn enough to send one child to secondary school for a year.
JTS has now sold over 95 tonnes of Kilombero rice, so for Fairtrade Fortnight it is asking everyone to make a special effort to help reach sales of 100 tonnes.

Get cooking

The Co-operative Membership in Scotland and Just Trading Scotland joined forces in 2011 to develop an entertaining Fair Trade cooking event, Savour the Flavour, in partnership with the Glasgow-based African Restaurant, Calabash, and MasterChef finalist and author of Kids’ Kitchen, Fi Bird.  

Savour the Flavour’s successful tour around Scotland in summer 2012 inspired the development of a Savour the Flavour Community Kitchen Kit for Fair Trade groups throughout  Scotland to use in their local communities. This will be available for hire throughout 2013.

What does the kit look like? Six boxes packed with display materials, cooking equipment, products and recipes, plus a detailed users’ guide – all delivered to you for a £50 non-returnable deposit .  The host group needs to organise the venue, chefs, volunteers and guarantee an audience of at least 50, plus sell surplus JTS products at the event or afterwards, using proceeds to further Fair Trade campaigning activities.
Contact Maree on 0141 887 2882 or at to find out more.

Read the book

No-Nonsense Guide to Fair Trade book cover
The Fair Trade title in the 'No-Nonsense Guides' series published  by New Inter-nationalist Books is set to be reissued in a new edition. Sally Blundell, a freelance author and journalist based in Christchurch, New Zealand, uncovers the origins of Fair Trade, looks at examples of how it is working and, after the granting of a Fairtrade mark to some of the biggest food corporations, asks if it can be more than just another promotional campaign. ISBN-13: 978-1-78026-133-1, paperback, pp 140, £7.99.

Watch the video

Cotton producer

It's estimated that around the world 100 million households are involved in cotton production, and that for many farmers, cotton is their only means of income. In this new 11-minute video, Fairtrade International and Max Mavelaar France look at the challenges faced by farmers in Senegal's cotton country and the benefits that Fair Trade has brought.

Become a member

As a Scottish Fair Trade Forum member you are helping to make Scotland a Fair Trade Nation. Your membership fee helps fund our volunteer programme as well as outreach work to communities throughout Scotland.  Individual and organisational memberships are offered.

Visit Membership on the Scottish Fair Trade Forum website to find out more.

Share your news

We would love to hear about what you have been doing to promote Fair Trade. As well as this newsletter, we publish news on our website and on Facebook. So please e-mail the editor with your stories and pictures.




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