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Fair Trade Nation Lecture 2014

Sophi Tranchell, Managing Director of Divine Chocolate, one of the UK’s most successful Fairtrade businesses, gave Scotland’s Fair Trade Nation Lecture in Glasgow on Thursday 10 April 2014. The annual lecture organised by the  Forum and this year hosted by Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) is the second time the event has taken place – the first was at the University of Edinburgh last year when Scotland achieved Fair Trade Nation status.
Sophi Tranchell is the managing director of the pioneering farmer-owned Fairtrade chocolate company Divine, first appointed back in 1999 when the company was a year old. Since then she has worked very closely with cocoa farmers in Ghana, challenging the industry to change, competing with huge corporations for market space, while coping with fluctuating currencies, and the roller coaster of a volatile economic situation. Divine is unique in that farmers from the Kuapa Kokoo co-operative in Ghana own 45% of the company and sit on the board. Divine Chocolate is a growing company with a multi-million pound turnover and a presence in the UK and worldwide.
Professor John Lennon, Vice Dean of the Glasgow Caledonian University School for Business and Society welcomed guests to the lecture and said that the University was delighted to be hosting the annual Fair Trade Nation Lecture. GCU was awarded Fairtrade status two years ago in recognition of the university’s ongoing commitment to supporting and using Fairtrade products throughout the campus, from the boardroom to the student refectory and cafes. 
Martin Rhodes, Director of the Scottish Fair Trade Forum commented “It’s testament to Scotland’s status as a Fair Trade Nation that Sophi Tranchell was giving this important lecture. And the message is clear we have achieved a lot but there is still much more to be done to shift the balance of power in global trade in favour of small-holder farmers.”

For more information, please visit the news story on our website.

Fair Trade Family Fun Day

On Thursday 9 April, families were given the opportunity to get involved with Fair Trade with the Fair Trade Family Fun Day at the Arches, Glasgow. The Spring Holiday event  was organised and hosted by the Forum and formally opened by Bailie Allan Stewart of Glasgow City Council.

Both the children and their parents were able to participate in a packed schedule of activities including: children’s comedy, stalls selling Fair Trade produce, the famous Smoothiecycle, a treasure-hunt and an animation workshop. The animation done by the children can be seen here.

There was also the opportunity to see Fairtrade footballs, produced in Sialkot, near Lahore, Pakistan. Additionally, there was a blind-tasting activity to see if people were able to distinguish between a Fair Trade cola brand and other leading brands.

Forum Director Martin Rhodes said ‘The event was able to attract the attention of groups all over the country who were able to assist us to make this day such a success. We feel that the most important thing about this Family Fun Day was that, not only the families enjoyed themselves, but also that the children were able to learn about and enjoy Fair Trade and Scotland’s role as a Fair Trade Nation’.

Shared Interest Event - 9 May

Shared Interest is coming to Glasgow to thank members in Scotland for their continued support. The event forms part of World Fair Trade Day celebrations. Come along for an update on the work of the organisation and meet some of the team. This is an open event so please feel free to bring a friend and introduce them to Shared Interest and the world of fair finance. Event takes place Friday 9 May at 10:30am at The Lighthouse, 11 Mitchell Lane, Glasgow, G1 3NU. Register for the event at

Fair Trade Fiesta Edinburgh

Saturday 10 May will see Edinburgh play host to the Fair Trade Fiesta, a celebration of Fair Trade through music. The event begins at 1pm outside the City Chambers where a parade will begin heading to Princes Street Gardens. Then, from 2pm-7pm, the Ross Band Stand in Princes St. Gardens will be the stage for a free concert featuring 5 hours of live Scottish and World music, culminating in a set by the Red Hot Chilli Pipers. The show will also be hosted by Scottish radio-television personality and comedian Hardeep Singh Kohli, and will includes speeches from The Lord Provost of Edinburgh,International Development Minister, Humza Yousaf and Scottish Fair Trade Forum Director, Martin Rhodes. More details to follow in our World Fair Trade Day preview special newsletter. 

Community Engagement Officer vacancy with Scottish Fair Trade Forum

The Scottish Fair Trade Forum team is currently looking to fill the role of Community Engagement Officer. The vacancy has been made available by the departure to a new post of our colleague Helen Rothwell, whom we will miss greatly and wish all the best in her new role. More information regarding the position and how to apply can be found here. Applications close at noon on 5 May.

Fair Trade effectiveness survey for postgraduate dissertation - can you help?

A postgraduate student from Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen is conducting a piece of research and is looking for the opinions of Fair Trade supporters with regards to Fair Trade pricing. If you would like to contribute towards this piece of research, the survey link can be found here and should take less than 2 minutes to complete.

Want to get more people involved with your Fair Trade group?

The new Take One Action website will be a one stop shop for Scottish communities, signposting active citizenship around social, global and environmental change, centred around amazing films to watch online. Groups and organisations can promote their work through a free profile page on the site, by listing relevant events, actions or opportunities, and connecting with other users. If you would like to add your regional or local group to the new Take One Action website, just email
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