Dear Fair Trade supporter,
The Scottish Fair Trade Forum was set up to help make Scotland a Fair Trade Nation. A material way of doing that will soon be presented to Parliament in the shape of the Procurement Reform Bill.
As the Government acknowledges, ' the public sector can through its procurement policy exert a significant influence on economic development.' Why not extend this principle beyond Scotland and, where appropriate, encourage support, through public procurement, for Fair Trade? If you believe that Fair Trade should be written into the way Scotland does procurement, you have the opportunity to say so through a public consultation exercise. You'll find information about how to do this below.
As well as the consultation, a priority for us in the Scottish Fair Trade Forum this month is finalising our submission for Fair Trade Nation status, which we plan to have with the Scottish Government on 2 November. The submission will be reviewed by an independent assessment panel, based on the criteria
drawn up in 2007. The panel will then make a recommendation to the Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop MSP.
I think we shall be making a strong case and I am hopeful that the Government will respond positively, but until we do hear, I shall be as anxious as anybody. This really is a case of stay tuned, keep your fingers crossed and your eye on your inbox.
Director, Scottish Fair Trade Forum
Credit: John Connell
PUBLIC PROCUREMENT BILL 2012
The public consultation about the Procurement Reform Bill started in August and runs through to 2 November. The bill aims to establish a national legislative framework for sustainable public procurement in Scotland. With the public procurement budget running in excess of £9 billion a year and the Government committed to procurement processes that are 'transparent, streamlined, standardised, proportionate, fair and business-friendly' , there is a great opportunity to embed support for Fair Trade in any future public procurement framework.
'Scotland can be a global leader for change through public procurement. Scotland aims to be a Fair Trade Nation. The Procurement Reform Bill provides the opportunity to set out Scotland's role as a responsible nation. Please embed this commitment in the Bill to promote Fair Trade in public procurement.'
If you'd like to say more than that, please do so. You can also feed in your views by letter to
Procurement Reform Bill Team,
Area 3D North,
Edinburgh EH6 6QQ
The Government will publish a report on the consultation on its website and we shall tell you what progress we have made in a future newsletter. For now, if you want to know more, there is an informative document
(PDF, 543 KB) about the consultation on the Scottish Government website.
Cotton is vital to the social and economic development of many countries, with 100 million rural households estimated to be involved in its production in 70 countries, most of them in the developing world.
Next month we are holding training sessions for volunteers who want to get involved with Fairtrade cotton. The training is free and will cover problems in the production of cotton, Fairtrade cotton, helping schools and organisations switch to Fairtrade cotton uniforms, and encouraging shops and suppliers to stock Fairtrade cotton.
November 6th – Dumfries at DG One Leisure Complex, 2.00 – 4.00 pm
November 8th – Inverness at Signpost, Highland Rail House, Station Square, 2.00 – 4.00 pm
November 13th – Perth at the SUBUD Centre, 2.00 – 4.00 pm
November 15th – Aberdeen at the Marywell Training and Conference Centre, 2.00 – 4.00 pm
Highland - Scotland's and the UK's biggest local authority area - has been awarded Fairtrade Zone status. The campaign made clever use of tele- and video-conferencing to link communities and build support for Fairtrade from the ground up.