Fair Trade fever hit Glasgow last weekend when Fair Traders from across the world gathered on Friday (9 September) at Robertson House and Saturday (10 September) at Glasgow Caledonian University to hear how Scotland achieved Fair Trade Nation status.
The Scottish Fair Trade Forum hosted representatives from Fair Trade organisations in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Poland and Canada at a first of its kind seminar which kick-started discussions on how to roll out the Fair Trade Nations and Regions concept globally.
In 2013, Scotland became the second nation in the world, after Wales, to achieve Fair Trade Nation status. The accolade was awarded after a campaign by activists, organisations, schools and universities who worked to fulfil criteria drawn up jointly by the Scottish Government and the Welsh Assembly Government in 2006. Targets were focussed on public awareness and purchasing of Fair Trade and the level of campaigning within community groups and educational establishments.
Amongst the delegates present in Glasgow was Dr Christopher Stange, Hon. Consul – St. Vincent and the Grenadines to Northern Ireland & Secretariat of the All Party Group on Fair Trade in Northern Ireland. He said: “In Northern Ireland, we have always had the vision of achieving a regional Fair Trade initiative as a legacy and commitment to the developing world.
In order to establish criteria for our campaign, we looked at the Scottish and Welsh Fair Trade Nation models which were incredibly useful. It was fantastic to be in Glasgow to experience a Fair Trade Nation and to unite with Fair Trade campaigners from across the world for such a worthy international cause.”
The Fair Trade Nation seminar was followed by the Scottish Fair Trade Campaigner Conference on Saturday when the international guests joined over eighty delegates from Scottish Fair Trade community groups, schools, universities and business to discuss and share ideas on how to campaign for Fair Trade at a local, national and global level.