Local MSP Hosts Parliamentary Reception To Celebrate 10 Years Of Scotland As A Fair Trade Nation

South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth hosted a successful parliamentary reception last week to mark the 10th anniversary of Scotland as a Fair Trade nation.


The event in the Scottish Parliament was attended by MSPs from across the political divide including the Scottish Government’s International Development Minister Christina McKelvie, as well as Fairtrade producers and volunteers and businesses from across Scotland.

There were key note speeches from Colin Smyth, the Minister Christina McKelvie, Martin Rhodes-Chief Executive of the Scottish Fairtrade Forum and Karena Jarvie from Perth and Kinross Fairtrade Group.

Pupils from St John the Baptist Primary School in South Lanarkshire held an online Q&A at the event with pupils from the Karonga District in Malawi.

Speaking after the event, Colin Smyth said: “Ten years as a Fair Trade Nation is a great achievement but the need to support a world in which trade is based on fairness so producers can earn secure and sustainable livelihoods has never been so important. 
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 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, also lodged a motion in the Scottish Parliament to mark the event.

Motion Text:

“That the Parliament notes that 25 February 2023 marked ten years since Scotland achieved Fair Trade Nation status, recognising the commitment across different parts of Scottish society to promoting Fair Trade values, campaigning, purchasing and practices; understands that Scotland’s Fair Trade Nation status was renewed in 2017 and is due to undergo another reassessment starting later in 2023; congratulates Fair Trade campaigners, businesses and supporters across Scotland along with the national network organisation, the Scottish Fair Trade Forum, for contributing to the achievement and maintenance of the status; recognises the continued commitment of Fair Trade campaigners, businesses and supporters across Scotland; believes that while much has been achieved by Fair Trade, much of global trade and business is still done unfairly, and resolves to recommit to supporting the Fair Trade Nation campaign to contribute to creating a Fair Trade future for people and planet.”


Latest Articles