South of Scotland Labour MSP Colin Smyth has praised local groups and organisation for making Fairtrade Fortnight 2020 a huge success.

The Fortnight, which ended on March 8 before Covid-19 restrictions had started to take hold, was bigger and better than ever, with events taking place across the region to highlight the importance of Fair Trade.

Colin Smyth, who is chairman of the Regional Fairtrade Steering Group, as well as convener of the Scottish Parliament’s cross-party group on Fair Trade, attended several different events, including the Dunscore Fairtrade Group’s Big Brew.

He also hosted a reception at the Scottish Parliament celebrating Bala Sport.

Bala Sport is a co-operative set up to expand the availability and use of ethically produced Fair Trade sports balls in the UK and beyond.

The balls are used by a number of groups in Dumfries and Galloway from Greystone Rovers to Dunscore Primary school.

Colin Smyth also welcomed guest speakers Ndiuzayani Zaya and Aubrey Meki Chilenje of the Kasinthula Cane Growers Association in Malawi to the Scottish Parliament’s cross-party group on Fair Trade on March 4. Kasinthula provides Fair Trade sugar for, amongst other products, Divine Chocolate.

Colin Smyth said: “I have the privilege of being the chair of the Dumfries and Galloway Fairtrade Steering Group as well as convener of the Scottish Parliament’s cross party group on Fair Trade so I see at first hand all the time the amazing work local Fair Trade groups such as Dunscore do to change the lives of the people who grow the things we love.

“Buying products with the Fairtrade Foundation mark means you are helping to create a world in which all producers can enjoy secure and sustainable livelihoods, fulfil their potential and decide on their future.

“Well done to everyone who took part in this year’s Fairtrade Fortnight, it just seems to get bigger and better every year.”

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