Fairtrade status award for town centre areas

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Bearsden and Milngavie have been successful in their bid to become Fairtrade Towns after an application to the Fairtrade Foundation was approved.

The approval was based on support in the communities for using and selling products which carry the Fairtrade logo.

A small group of volunteers in both towns have spent the past 18 months putting together an application for the accolade. The group included local businesses, MSP Fiona McLeod and Milngavie councillor Jim Gibbons.

Fiona McLeod said: “It was a pleasure to work with such a dedicated team to achieve Fairtrade status.”

The application is based on the number of stores that sell Fairtrade products, the number of cafes that use Fairtrade items and the schools, nurseries, faith groups and other community organisations and businesses that regularly support Fairtrade.

The application was fully supported by East Dunbartonshire Council which has promoted Fairtrade since 2004.

Leader of the council, Councillor Rhondda Geekie, said: “Well done to campaigning volunteers in Bearsden and Milngavie for their inspirational work - which has not only secured Fairtrade Town status for Milngavie and Bearsden, but helped to ensure East Dunbartonshire remained a Fairtrade Zone. Congratulations to everyone involved - I hope this helps to inspire other local communities to follow suit.

“The council is committed to the ethos and values of fair trade, and was delighted to see East Dunbartonshire awarded Fairtrade Zone status for the third time. We will continue to work with local communities, organisations and traders on this important issue.”

The success of the application showed the strength of support for the movement locally, with everyone getting behind the project. Many months of commitment to the ethos of fairtrade was needed inorder to get faretrade status in the two towns. The community are also very aware of the benefits that Fairtrade brings to the local businesses and community groups committed to Fairtrade principles.

The Bearsden and Milngavie Group are planning to host a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party at All Saints’ Church Hall in Bearsden on October 25 to mark the achievement.