Colin Smyth MSP
Colin Smyth MSP

South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth, who is chairman of the Dumfries and Galloway Regional Fairtrade Steering Group, as well as convener of the Scottish Parliament’s cross-party group on Fair Trade, has praised the work of local volunteers who work tirelessly to promote Fair Trade in our region.

Fairtrade Fortnight 2022 runs until 6 March, and Colin Smyth was honoured to attend the Dunscore Big Brew event on Saturday and see first-hand what is being done in the region to promote Fair Trade.

While the pandemic has meant that Fairtrade Fortnight events have been curtailed the past couple of years, the local MSP has said that even making small changes and picking Fair Trade products during the weekly grocery shop can play an important role.

Colin Smyth said: “The Big Brew event in Dunscore is a highlight of Fairtrade Fortnight and as always, it was a fantastic opportunity to see how tirelessly local volunteers are working to promote Fair Trade in our region. As Chair of the Dumfries and Galloway Fairtrade Group and Convener of the Scottish Parliament Cross Party Group on Fairtrade, people know I’m passionate about Fair Trade but it’s the volunteers that make Fairtrade Fortnight happen across our region.  

The basic principles of Fair Trade—better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in developing countries and across the world—have never been more important than they are now.

“Fair Trade is also absolutely consistent with a desire to buy local.

“There are obviously many Fair Trade products that are simply not grown here, from coffee to bananas, but also many fantastic local Fair Trade supporting shops.

“The ongoing pandemic has meant that Fairtrade Fortnight events have been limited for the past couple of years but I’m proud that our region’s volunteers have kept on working to ensure that Fair Trade is top of the agenda.

“Local volunteers are the heart of the Fair Trade movement and their commitment to Fair Trade has never been more important.

“I am aware that many people are still struggling as the pandemic continues and choosing Fair Trade might not seem like a priority, however, buying even a couple of Fair Trade products during the weekly grocery shop can make a big difference to the lives of producers across the world.”

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