Hardeep Singh Kohli to host Fair Trade Fiesta

Hardeep Singh Kohli wants Edinburgh to have a bigger bite of the Fair Trade cherry. Picture: Cate Gillon

Hardeep Singh Kohli wants Edinburgh to have a bigger bite of the Fair Trade cherry. Picture: Cate Gillon

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COMEDIAN Hardeep Singh Kohli has praised the Capital’s commitment to Fair Trade, as he gets set to host Scotland’s first ever Fair Trade Fiesta.

More than 300 people have already been confirmed to march in a parade led by Davidson’s Mains & District Pipe Band from the City Chambers to Princes Street Gardens, where a free concert headlined by the Red Hot Chilli Pipers will be held. The group will be backed by local pipe bands and samba, reggae, jazz and soul performers.

A spokesman said: “What a great cause. We are so proud that our country is supporting this global movement.”

The Fiesta, which takes place on May 10, World Fair Trade Day, is a celebration of Scotland’s new status as the world’s second Fair Trade Nation.

To achieve the title, the Scottish Fair Trade Forum had to prove the nation met stringent criteria, including all seven major cities and more than 50 per cent of local authorities having been awarded Fair Trade status.

Singh Kohli, 45, who is also an ambassador for Fair Trade clothing company People Tree, said: “No-one who cares about fashion is willing to cut corners when it comes to style, but some still don’t look closely enough at where their clothes are coming from.

“If you’re paying £2 for a vest that’s been shipped halfway around the world, someone, somewhere is getting seriously ripped off.

“Edinburgh is probably the most cosmopolitan city in Scotland, leaps and bounds ahead of a lot of other cities when it comes to aspects of Fair Trade such as ethically sourced food, but I hope the Fiesta will encourage the movement to grow even stronger all across the country.”

The parade will be started off by Lord Provost Donald Wilson, who said: “Marking ten years since Edinburgh achieved Fair Trade status, this is the very first time the Capital will welcome to the streets the Fair Trade Fiesta and this is testament to Edinburgh communities’ ongoing commitment to Fair Trade.

“The Fiesta is a great chance to highlight the need for collective action to create a fairer, sustainable trade in developing countries. By involving people of all ages and backgrounds, I hope the event will raise more awareness of the Fair Trade movement.”

How Scotland qualified

As well as proving our cities and local authorities are committed to Fair Trade, to qualify as a Fair Trade Nation, Scotland needed:

• At least 60 per cent of higher education institutions running active Fair Trade groups.

• The Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government to use, promote and make available Fair Trade products internally.

• Fair Trade to be promoted in schools through the curriculum, procurement and other possible means.

• 75 per cent of people to purchase at least one Fair Trade product every year.

• 40 per cent of people to regularly buy Fair Trade products.