South of Scotland MSP, Colin Smyth has praised Fairtrade campaigners across Dumfries and Galloway after the region secured Fairtrade Zone status from the Fairtrade Foundation.
Colin, who is the Chairperson of the Dumfries and Galloway Regional Fairtrade Steering Group, as well as the Scottish Parliament’s Cross Party Group on Fairtrade has been leading a team of dedicated volunteers who have been working hard to promote and grow fairtrade goods and services across the region.
Colin announced the news of the Fairtrade success at the recent Cross Party Group on Fairtrade and has tabled a Parliamentary motion to mark the region’s award. He also joined campaigners at the Fairer World Fair in Dumfries on Saturday to celebrate the region’s success.
The Fairtrade Foundation is an independent non-profit organisation that focuses on four key areas of work in the UK:
- · Provide independent certification of the trade chain for products and license the use of the FAIRTRADE Mark on products
- · Help in growing demand for Fairtrade products and empowering producers to sell to traders and retailers
- · Find new ways of working with our partners to support producer organisations and their networks
- · Raise awareness of the need for Fairtrade to the public and the significant role of Fairtrade in making trade fair
Colin Smyth said, “In 2007 I tabled the motion at Dumfries and Galloway Council which started the process towards Fairtrade Zone status for the region and I am delighted that ten years on we can now celebrate this success after a lot of hard work. Securing this status isn’t easy. As Chairman of the Dumfries and Galloway Fairtrade Steering Group, I have seen first-hand the dedication of Fairtrade campaigners across the region who earned this award. We already had Fairtrade status for a number of villages, towns and schools but to secure it for the whole region is a major achievement. The award highlights how right across Dumfries and Galloway, people have embraced using Fairtrade products and promoted ethical and sustainable produce, supporting some of the world’s poorest communities. In my national role as Convener of the Cross Party Group on Fairtrade at the Scottish Parliament, I know that Dumfries and Galloway is seen as a leading region when it comes to Fairtrade. We should rightly be very proud of this achievement.”
Leader of Dumfries and Galloway Council Elaine Murray said, “Our council has been supporting Fairtrade campaigners in the work they have done to secure Fairtrade status for our region and they deserve a huge amount of praise. It’s a decade since we first agreed as a Council to support this work, and since then the promotion of Fairtrade has gone from strength to strength across the region. I’m particularly delighted that we have nine schools in the region who have secured Fairtrade status and a further 29 registered with the Fairtrade Foundation, who are promoting Fairtrade. Over the next few months we plan to hold a series of events across the region to make this award but also to build on the success”.