THIS is the year that Scotland will hopefully become a Fair Trade Nation. The campaign, led by the Scottish Fair Trade Forum, aims to deliver real impact in the fight against global poverty.
Many people in Scotland already know a bit about Fairtrade, but more needs to be done to raise awareness. Many of the products we buy in supermarkets are produced by people who are not paid properly for their work and, as a result, many live in poverty. Fairtrade guarantees a fair price to producers – enough to pay a living wage regardless of how low prices go. Fairtrade also safeguards against child labour and promotes rights for women. Fairtrade enables producers to plan for the future by providing long-term contracts and includes a social premium that is often reinvested into local products.
The Scottish Government must work to promote Fairtrade and use the products internally. In addition, the number of people who know about Fairtrade must increase by five per cent every year until it reaches 75 per cent, and 75 per cent of those people must buy a Fairtrade product every year. Visit www.sftf.org.uk for further details.
In West Lothian, there are now four Fairtrade towns – Bathgate, Livingston, Whitburn and Linlithgow. This is thanks to the work of committed communities. Scots from all walks of life are now being encouraged to join the campaign.
By working together and making smarter shopping choices, we can make a difference to global poverty. That is why I am supporting the Fair Trade Nation campaign and hope you will, too.
• Graeme Morrice is MP for Livingston