A decade of Fairtrade in Inverclyde
INVERCLYDE will celebrate a decade of being a Fairtrade zone after retaining its status.
The district has been a recognised Fairtrade area since 2013 and the latest extension secured by the council will run until 2023.
The status acknowledges the work locally, including by the Inverclyde Fairtrade Steering Group led by retired school teacher Morag Paul.
Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world.
Provost Martin Brennan, who is also vice-convener of education, said: “It’s an honour for Inverclyde to be a Fairtrade zone and to be recognised for the work being done to support farmers and workers in developing countries in getting a fair price for their goods and services.
“A tremendous amount of excellent work is done in our schools and right across the community to promote Fairtrade messages and goods, which the council is proud to support.
“In particular, I’d like to congratulate Morag Paul from the Inverclyde Fairtrade Steering Group for all her efforts in promoting Fairtrade.”
Among the things highlighted by in the renewal confirmation was the successful ‘pop-up’ shop at the Watt Institution last year run by the steering group and backed by the council, Inverclyde’s support for the annual ‘Fairtrade Fortnight’ and work in local schools to promote Fairtrade, with many being recognised for their efforts.
Morag Paul, who chairs the Inverclyde Fairtrade Steering Group, said: “I’m particularly proud of the work that has been done in schools and nurseries by teachers and parent groups to promote Fairtrade in their classrooms, homes and communities.
“Children and young people become very engaged with the concept of fairness, and understand the need to promote equality, equity and sustainability in their lives and beyond.
“Our schools do a brilliant job in inspiring their pupils with these issues.
“These issues are contained in the 10 Principles of Fair Trade, which also include growing food sustainably, the right to health, and education, fair wages, empowering women, honesty and transparency in business, equality in the trading system, and of course, the need to look after our planet.
“It goes without saying, that these are the principles that we, as adults, should also seriously consider as consumers, in our homes, businesses, communities and our council, and this is why I feel proud that Inverclyde has again received a renewal of our Fairtrade status.
“A special shout out to our volunteers and those who have consistently sought out and bought products from producers in developing countries.
“Of course, for those us who are time-served activists, it would be heartening to see more businesses stocking, selling and promoting Fairtrade, and as we come out of lockdown, and begin to open up again, this is something that we should encourage, and give credibility to, especially our amazing independent shops and cafes.”
Inverclyde became a Fairtrade zone at the first time of applying in late 2013.
In addition to that, the council was the first local authority in Scotland to sign up to the International Fairtrade Charter and is also a member of the Scottish Fairtrade Forum.
Chrysi Dimaki, communities campaigns officer from Fairtrade Foundation, said: “It’s been fantastic to hear about everything that you have achieved in the past few years.
“Your group has demonstrated dedication to take your campaign forward and ensure Fairtrade becomes part of daily life in Inverclyde.”
The renewal of the status will support the work being done by the council examining historical links to the transatlantic slave trade.