Concern as ‘Ethical’ Christmas market cut short

Rachel Farey from One World Shop with Green Santa at the market: Picture: contributed

Rachel Farey from One World Shop with Green Santa at the market: Picture: contributed

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A CHRISTMAS fair which attracts traders from as far afield as Kenya and India to the Capital is being cut short.

The “ethical” market will run for just seven days on Castle Street, less than half its normal 15-day run, and see its marquee replaced by smaller stalls.

It comes as Edinburgh celebrates its tenth anniversary of being awarded the prestigious Fair Trade City status.

Organisers have launched an 11th-hour bid to extend the time of the fair, claiming international traders won’t have enough selling days to cover their air fares and visa costs.

Hands Up Media director Tania Pramschufer is now considering moving the market, first held in 2007, out of the Capital.

She said: “We’re providing a platform for an ethical shopping choice. We are providing hand-crafted products where you can tell who you are supporting.

“Next year we’re thinking of moving the fair to ­London or Glasgow.

“Exhibitors from Africa have got their visas but I have told them they can’t get their air tickets until I find a solution.”

However, it is understood Hands Up Media was given more than a year to find an alternative venue after permanent traders in Castle Street complained about the adverse effect the fair had on business.

A city council source said: “This applicant has known since September 2013 that there were concerns about a marquee at the market on Castle Street.

“She was at the committee on September 2014 where our policy on what could and couldn’t go on Castle Street and the timescales that would be allowed were confirmed.”

But Ms Pramschufer, who has launched an online petition against the council’s decision at you.38degrees.org.uk, said: “Running the event in stalls isn’t going to provide any shelter for our exhibitors. It’s not me being awkward – if there’s a solution and a positive way I’ll find it.

“But nobody is prepared to make a change on a policy created without much consideration for the bigger picture.”

kaye.nicolson@edinburghnews.com