East Dunbartonshire receives Fairtrade Zone Status for third time

SHOPPERS who support fair trade in East Dunbartonshire will be pleased to hear that the area has been granted Fairtrade Zone Status for the third time.

Scotland as a whole has also been awarded Fair Trade Nation status – and it’s only the second country in the world (after Wales) to achieve this.

Fairtrade Fortnight began on Monday this week (February, 25) and ends on Sunday, March 10.

Leader of the council, Councillor Rhondda Geekie, said: “East Dunbartonshire was first granted Fairtrade Zone status in 2007 and since then we have taken great steps to promote fair trade in our communities. We have made links with producers from overseas, learned where our food and products come from and found out how we can help to ensure producers of these goods receive fair pay and have decent working conditions.

“It is encouraging that we have been awarded Fairtrade Zone status once again and that the whole country has been recognised as a world leader. We must now continue in our efforts to promote and encourage fair trade in our communities and to support the many farmers and workers abroad that benefit from this.

“We are very grateful for all the hard work done locally to get this recognition and are pleased to be making a difference in the wider world.”

People have been supporting fair trade since the 1980s in East Dunbartonshire and today the council has a well-established fair trade agenda and links with people in some of the poorest parts of the world.

Community groups such as schools, businesses and churches have been instrumental in highlighting the benefits of fair trade and encouraging people to be responsible consumers and consider where their products are coming from.

In September last year young people were introduced to fair trade with the launch of the Fair Trade Nurseries Programme.

In line with the Curriculum for Excellence, fair trade is a topic of cross-curricular relevance and has been shown to be useful for teaching other subjects and life skills.

The children have been learning about where their food comes from and the nurseries are committed to buying and promoting fair trade products. In an impressive demonstration of their commitment, a group of East Dunbartonshire nurseries have collectively bought one tonne of fair trade rice to sell on within their networks through the 90kg rice challenge- this is the first time this has ever been achieved.