LOTHIANS MSP: FAIRTRADE SUCCESS SHOWS SCOTS WANT TRADE JUSTICE – need to tackle exploitation of Scottish producers

The growth of the Fairtrade market is an important first step towards trade justice, Greens said today at the start of Fairtrade Fortnight as they highlighted the success of Lothians projects. However, there is still a long way to go to achieve global trade justice, and producers here in Scotland are also being exploited by supermarkets.

On the increasing spending on Fairtrade products, Mark Ballard MSP, Green speaker on international development, said,

“Fairtrade is an important first step towards global trade justice. The time when corporations can trample all over workers’ rights and the environment is thankfully coming to an end. The success of Fairtrade products shows that purse power can really make a difference, and that Scots clearly care about the impact of their buying habits.”

On progress in Lothians, Mark Ballard, also Rector of Edinburgh University, said:
“Edinburgh University has made a commitment to serve Fairtrade tea and coffee, and the result is a staggering one million cups of Fairtrade coffee are drunk in university venues each year. I’d like to see more public bodies follow that lead and use their buying power to benefit producers in developing world.

“Uphall is also to be congratulated on its recent award of Fairtrade Town status, joining Edinburgh, Linlithgow and Livingston in having Fairtrade accreditation. It’s vital that this increasing awareness is built on – this is just the beginning of the campaign for fairer trade.”

On the need to ensure trade in Scotland is fair: Mark Ballard said,

“Producers in Scotland also need to be protected from abuses of power. For example, dairy farmers in Scotland really struggle to survive because supermarkets are squeezing prices so low. It’s in the interests of consumers and the environment that the supply of basic, perishable foodstuffs such as milk is not concentrated in fewer and fewer hands.”

The University of Edinburgh’s Fairtrade Open Day is to be held in the university’s Appleton Tower on 8 March from 10 am to 4 pm.

ENDS
Notes

Motion lodged in Parliament:

S2M-5639 Mark Ballard (Lothians) (Green) : Fairtrade Fortnight 2007— That the Parliament recognises Fairtrade Fortnight 2007, which will run from 26 February to 11 March 2007; considers that the fair trade movement has already made a huge and positive difference to the lives of many thousands of workers in poorer countries; welcomes the progress made by members of the fair trade movement towards establishing Scotland as a fair trade nation, including organising the Fair Trade Scotland Conference in Perth on 27 January 2007; agrees with delegates at the conference that a fair trade Scotland must be committed to fairer global trade rules and to the fair treatment of Scottish producers, as well as to the Fairtrade standard; congratulates Edinburgh University Students’ Association (EUSA) and the university itself on their contributions to building fair trade in Scotland; notes that one million cups of Fairtrade coffee alone are drunk in EUSA venues each year; calls on MSPs and the public to support Fairtrade Fortnight and its events, including the University of Edinburgh’s Fairtrade Open Day, which is to be held in the university’s Appleton Tower on 8 March 2007 from 10 am to 4 pm, and further congratulates Uphall on its award of Fairtrade Town status, joining Edinburgh, Linlithgow and Livingston in the Lothian region in having Fairtrade accreditation.