Scotland retains Fair Trade Nation status
Yesterday I announced that Scotland has retained Fair Trade Nation status with 43% more consumers reporting that they bought Fairtrade products in 2016 than in the preceding year.
Here, Martin Rhodes, Director of the Scottish Fair Trade Forum explains why Fair Trade Nation status is so important for Scotland.
“This week saw Scotland assessed once more as a Fair Trade Nation. Two of the most common questions, I’m asked are what does being a Fair Trade Nation mean and what difference does it make?
What does it mean? Put simply it shows that Scotland meets certain agreed criteria and that a panel has assessed Scotland as meeting that criteria. That criteria includes indicators of community engagement and awareness; political engagement and support; availability, awareness and purchasing of Fair Trade; and activities supporting Fair Trade across different sectors of society.
Key highlights of this 2016 assessment report include:
- 75% of local authority areas have Fairtrade status – showing, support, awareness and availability of Fair Trade
- In the last four years, there has been a 30% increase in the number of towns awarded Fairtrade status, rising to 65 in 2016
- When asked about purchasing, 43% of consumers report buying more Fair Trade products than in the preceding year
But there is something more important than the numbers and the stats. It’s what they point to – that is, a wide and diverse engagement across different sectors of Scottish society with Fair Trade.
Being a Fair Trade Nation is important because it celebrates, supports and encourages. It is also important because it challenges us all to do more, to renew our commitment to fairness in global trade. This is the added value of being a Fair Trade Nation.
Scotland is now leading on developing the Fair Trade Nation model internationally. The Scottish Fair Trade Forum is currently facilitating and participating in international discussions about developing the Fair Trade Nation model globally.
Having our Fair Trade Nation status affirmed once more is a chance to celebrate what has been achieved for Fair Trade across Scotland and also to look forward to the next stage of the journey.”