South Scotland MSP and Convenor of the Scottish Parliament’s Cross Party Group on Fairtrade Colin Smyth recently hosted the launch of the new International Fairtrade Charter at an event in the Scottish Parliament.

The new International Fair Trade Charter was agreed by the two largest International Fair Trade Organisations – Fairtrade International and the World Fairtrade Organisation (WFTO). It was launched last week with events simultaneously across the globe including the event in the Scottish Parliament.

Colin Smyth MSP, who also chairs the Dumfries and Galloway Regional Fairtrade Steering Group, chaired a launch event in the Scottish Parliament and subsequently signed the new Charter.

The original International Fairtrade Charter was launched in early 2009. The new Charter refreshes the vision of Fairtrade and seeks to highlight Fairtrade’s longstanding role in addressing global challenges such as inequality, gender rights and climate change.

Colin Smyth MSP said, “I was delighted to be able to host the event launching the new International Fairtrade Charter here in Scotland. Communities and organisations right across Scotland have made a significant contribution to the Fairtrade movement and this is noticeable right across South Scotland. I am proud to have signed the Charter and look forward to the future successes of the Fairtrade movement and playing my part in addressing inequality, gender rights and climate change.”

Erinch Sahan (Chief Executive of the World Fair Trade Organization) and Michael Gidney (Chief Executive of the Fairtrade Foundation) spoke about the Charter at the Scottish Parliament launch, and urged organisations and individuals to pledge support for it.

Erinch Sahan said: “We see spiralling inequality and entrenched poverty because businesses and trade have been shaped to prioritise profits above all else. Fair Trade shows that a better way is possible. Our new Charter shows how our vision and experience can help reshape business and trade around the world.”

Michael Gidney said: “Fair Trade is important as a tool for fighting poverty but it’s more than just that. It’s also about social justice…One of the most inspiring things about Fair Trade and the movement as a whole is the focus on empowerment, on producers taking control of their lives.” 

Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, also participated in the event reaffirming the Scottish Government’s continued support for Fair Trade and the Fair Trade campaign network in Scotland.

Colin Smyth MSP signing the International Fairtrade Charter
Colin Smyth MSP signing the International Fairtrade Charter
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