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Fair Trade across the nation: more and more towns, villages and areas back Fair Trade
The past autumn and winter have seen plenty of enthusiasm and energy in the work of getting more and more towns involved in Fair Trade and making Scotland a fairly trading nation! Meetings have been held at all points of the compass from Elgin and Stonehaven to Dumbarton, Kilmarnock and Campbeltown. There are now active steering groups working in Prestwick, Helensburgh, Arbroath, Penicuik, Stonehaven, Elgin and Lenzie.

Fair Traders in Lenzie

Towns working towards gaining Fairtrade status and establishing steering groups are Westhill, Dalkeith, Dunblane, Cumbernauld, Kirkcaldy, Glenrothes, Crieff, Dunfermline and Johnstone.  Prestonpans and Bathgate have been awarded Fairtrade status and North Berwick has had its Fairtrade status renewed.
Glasgow and Dundee groups have held AGMs and there have been successful Fair Trade bazaars in Inverness and Queensferry.

There has been good news from Fairtrade Zones too! West Lothian has been declared a Fairtrade Zone and in South Lanarkshire, Highland, Aberdeenshire, Clackmannanshire and Midlothian supporters are actively working to take the steps needed to become a Fairtrade Zone and meetings are planned early in 2012 in East Ayrshire and Inverclyde.

The town meetings have seen a wide range of people from different sectors of society getting involved and attending the meetings.  From individuals and local shop keepers to representatives of schools, churches and local councils, people have shown interest in Fair Trade and raising awareness of Fair Trade in their local communities.

If you would like to get involved in local Fair Trade activity in your town or area, please get in touch.

Is your town, village or city going to be part of Scotland’s bid to be a Fair Trade Nation in 2012? 

Countdown Campaign reaching a succesful conclusion: a year of Fair Trade pledges
The Countdown Campaign is drawing to a close. At the start of 2011, we challenged Scotland to join us in counting down to Scotland becoming a Fair Trade Nation in 2012, by making pledges every day of the year to do something for Fair Trade.  And what a success the campaign has been!

Work on the campaign has seen lots of pledges from all over Scotland, with ten year old Laurie from Glasgow being one of the first (and youngest) people to pledge her support in 2011; she had fun teaching her friends about Fair Trade. Gillian and the Fair Trade community from Bathgate held a stall at a Street Fair at the end of the West Lothian Highland Games and Ms Sharp from Stenhousemuir pledged to buy more Fairtrade products in her weekly shop as did Alison McFadyen from Ayrshire. Students' Association group, EUSA Tandem,hosted a Fair Trade Language Café where they handed out Fairtrade freebies such as chocolate and coffee for the first 20 people who attended.

Napier University pledged to develop a Fair Trade group to increase the amount of Fair Trade products for staff as did Queen Margaret University and Glasgow Caledonian. The Justice and Peace Group Scotland published a Scotland-wide article that publicised the Countdown Campaign and NIDOS pledged to distribute Campaign postcards from their central base in Thorn House, Edinburgh. In addition, the STUC Annual Congress in Ayr published an article in the conference programme promoting Fair Trade and the Belladrum “Tartan Heart” festival hosted speakers from around Scotland to discuss Scotland’s drive to become a Fair Trade Nation.

In fact, pledges from some famous faces marked the half-way point in the Campaign; Sir Alex Ferguson, Sir Sean Connery, Billy Boyd and Beecake, chef Tom Kitchen, DJ Mylo, musician Nicola Benedetti, Shirley Manson, the Proclaimers, writer Iain Banks all pledged their support to the campaign.

Other highlights from the campaign included Ian Baxter, the Forum's book-keeper, who literally went the extra mile(s) for Fair Trade as he set off on a sponsored walk from Glasgow to Inverness.

The campaign has been a big success, showing that Scotland is counting down the days to becoming a Fair Trade Nation in 2012. 

Season's Greetings from all at the Scottish Fair Trade Forum. Get ready for 2012 - the biggest year yet for Fair Trade in Scotland!

Cabinet Secretary gives keynote address at Forum Campaign Day

The national Campaign Day 2011 in Stirling was a celebration of the dedication and enthusiasm of Fair Trade in Scotland.  We were encouraged by all the dynamic and positive contributions made by all the delegates. Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, reaffirmed the Scottish Government’s continued commitment to the Fair Trade Nation campaign.  

Fiona Hyslop at Forum Campaign Day

Barbara Crowther gave us a review of the Fairtrade Foundation's campaigning in the last year and plans for the year ahead. Graham Hulme of the Fair Trade Way and Ruth Taylor of Shared Interest gave delegates their particular perspective on Fair Trade.

There was the premiere of our short film made at the Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival. Way to go Belladrum!!

Equal Exchange’s Heather Baird gave  an update on the Fairtrade producers that visited Scotland in Fairtrade Fortnight: Ken Mkangala, a Macademia nut producer from Malawi, Palestinian Fairtrade olive oil producers and Ugandan coffee farmer, Jennifer Wetaka.

The highlight of the day was a video link to Kuapa Kokoo Cocoa farmers’ Co-operative in Ghana. Members told us about the benefits they enjoyed and delegates were able to ask questions and chat with the farmers.
There were some really lively workshops were delegates were able to exchange their experience of local Fair Trade campaigning and also a session for Fair Trade shops and importers.

Fairtrade Cotton Schoolwear Campaign

The momentum is building in the SFTF’s Fairtrade Cotton Schoolwear Campaign and we are seeing some real progress in schools and on the high street.

The campaign wants to raise awareness of the injustices in the cotton supply chain, help schools to switch to Fairtrade cotton schoolwear and encourage shops and suppliers to stock Fairtrade cotton schoolwear.

From the beginnings of a pilot in East Dunbartonshire we are now rolling out the campaign to other parts of Scotland – so get in touch if you want to join us for your own area.

2012 will see an olympian effort to fast track our work.  Watch this space for our exciting projects. 

To find out more about the Campaign or if you’d like to get involved, please contact us on, download the Campaign’s leaflet, or visit the website.  

Cross Party Group

MSPs from across the political spectrum meet regularly as the Cross Party Group on Fair Trade in the Scottish Parliament. The Co-convenors of the group are George Adam MSP and James Kelly MSP.
At a recent meeting they had presentations from Fair Traders in East Kilbride, Paisley and Cambuslang/Rutherglen and discussed how elected representatives can work with local groups to support Fair Trade activity.

Forum in New Lanark

The Scotish Fair Trade Forum recently had a presence in New Lanark.
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