Scottish Fair Trade Forum
January 2013


Dear Fair Trade supporter,

Welcome to the first newsletter of what I hope will be a very memorable new year for Fair Trade in Scotland.

We are now in the very final stage of the Fair Trade Nation assessment process. The review panel, which has been assessing the quality of our evidence for Scotland's Fair Trade Nation status, has accepted that our report is complete and has submitted it, along with its assessment, to the Scottish Government. It is now for ministers to make a decision. Of course, it would be wonderful if this decision were forthcoming in time for Fairtrade Fortnight, but the Scottish Fair Trade Forum has always said that we want a thorough and considered process of assessment as, ultimately, that will carry more credibility, even if it does take longer.

So let me move on to the other big event on our horizon, Fairtrade Fortnight.  There will be a Scottish launch event in Glasgow in the evening of Monday 25 February and a variety of tours of the country by producers or Fair Trade representatives organised by the Forum and other bodies. As ever, Fair Traders have been enthusiastic in their willingness to host a producer and we've been in touch with a large number of you about a visit. As a result, our programme is already looking very full.

We'll put details of the launch event and producers tours on our website just as soon as they are confirmed, so please look out for them. And if you are organising your own public events, let us know about them and we'll be happy to share that information.

I look forward to joining you for what promises to be a busy, enjoyable and eventful Fairtrade Fortnight.

Martin Rhodes

This year, Fairtrade Fortnight runs from 25 February to 10 March and, building on last year's 'Take a step' campaign, it will have the theme of 'Go further.' The Fairtrade Foundation explains: 'Together we’re making steady progress but we need to reach more of the people who need a fairer deal from trade. So that’s why we’re asking the nation to go further for Fairtrade in 2013!'

Here in Scotland, Fairtrade Fortnight will kick off with a celebration of Fair Trade at the
Lighthouse, Scotland's Centre for Design and Architecture, in Glasgow in the evening of 25 February. Registration will open next week but for now please make a note of the date in your diary.

The Forum is also organising visits by a number of Fair Trade producers:

  • Tomy Mathew, a farmer and founder of Fair Trade Alliance Kerala, an organisation of more than 4,500 farmers located in four districts of Kerala growing coffee, cocoa, cashew nuts, coconuts and a variety of tropical spices 
  • Wipa Salabsang and Pimjai Intanantwo, Fair Trade craft producers from Chiang Mai, Thailand
and there will be other producer and trader visits arranged by the Fairtrade Foundation, The Co-op and Zaytoun.

Fair Trade: Scotland/UK


The Forum's Board is looking to recruit members to fill places reserved on the Board for co-opted members. The Board is particularly keen to recruit Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic and young people as Board members and also those with a background in the private sector to complement the experience and skills of current Board members. If you are interested in co-option, please send your CV to


Congratulations to Aberdeenshire on being awarded Fairtrade Zone status.


IF campaign poster

With the world's richest nations due to meet at Lough Erne, Northern Ireland, for this year's G8 summit, the Scottish Fair Trade Forum is joining more than 100 UK and Scottish charities and campaign organisations to mobilise the biggest anti-hunger campaign since Make Poverty History in 2005, when the G8 last met under a UK presidency.
We want our leaders to act on the four big issues that mean so many people do not get enough food: 
  • enough aid to stop children dying from hunger and help the poorest families feed themselves
  • governments stop big companies dodging tax in poor countries
  • we stop poor farmers being forced off their land and grow crops to feed people, not fuel cars
  • governments and big companies are honest and open about their actions that stop people getting enough food.
There are crucial dates in the calendar throughout 2013 when the voice of Fair Traders will need to be raised, such as the UK Budget in March. So please sign up to the campaign and check the website and social media pages regularly for updates on the campaign and others ways you can support it.


Sales of ethical goods and services have done well during the downturn, according an Ethical Consumer Markets Report, published by The Co-operative in December. Since the onset of the recession five years ago, the total value of ethical markets in the UK has increased by a third from £35.5 billion to £47.2 billion. Sales of sustainably sourced fish (up 323 per cent) have led the increase, followed by sales of Fairtrade products (up 176 per cent) and ‘freedom foods’ such as free range eggs (up 78 per cent).
Underlying the growth in the market for ethical consumables are changes in consumer attitudes and behaviour. A third of us said we made efforts to find information about a company’s reputation last year (compared with a quarter of us who said we did this in 2000) and half of us said that we avoided buying a product or service on the basis of what we knew about the company providing it (up from 44% in 2000).

Fair Trade: World


Montage of postcards from Fairtrade TownsThe Brussels-based Fair Trade Advocacy Office has set up a website for the Fair Trade Beyond 2015 campaign which we reported in an earlier newsletter. Launched at the International Fairtrade Towns conference in Poznan, Poland, last November, the campaign aims to encourage town leaders and Civil Society Organisations across the globe to call on world leaders to put in place a new global development framework to replace the UN's Millennium Development Goals which expire in 2015.  


Make a date

Stand-up comedians, Phil Differ and Bob Doolally, help to launch Fairtrade Fortnight 2013 with a show at the Stand Comedy Club in Edinburgh on Tuesday 26 February. You can book tickets through the Stand website.

On Wednesday 27 February, Moray Youth Cafe hosts a Fair Trade Evening which will see the launch of the Moray Fair Trade website, fair trade stalls and a number of speakers. Book a place through Eventbrite.
Dunbar Fair Trade's next coffee morning takes place at Bleachingfield Community Centre,  Dunbar,  East Lothian from 10 AM on Saturday 2 March.

East Renfrewshire Council takes on local businesses and other public services in a five-a-side Fair Trade football tournament on Friday 8 March. Woodfarm High School, Robslee Road, hosts.

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.

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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