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 2023 runs until 12 March, and Colin Smyth attended the Dunscore Big Brew event on Saturday to see first-hand what is being done in the region to promote Fair Trade.

This year, Fairtrade Fortnight is shining a spotlight the harmful effect of the climate crisis on the future of our food.

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 chocolate to bananas, but also many fantastic local Fair Trade supporting shops.

“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 struggling due to the cost of living crisis 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.”

Colin, who is also Scottish Labour’s Spokesperson on Net Zero, added: “This year’s Fairtrade Fortnight is focusing on the harmful effect of the climate crisis on the future of our food.

“The Fairtrade Foundation has said that as shoppers strive to become more sustainable, they are increasingly demanding ethically sourced products such as bananas, chocolate and coffee.

“This is great news – we are currently in the midst of a climate emergency and it is right that this year, Fairtrade Fortnight is focusing on environmental issues.”

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