Scotland awarded Fair Trade Nation status

Scotland has become the second country in the UK, and the world, after Wales, to gain the accolade

All Scottish cities now have Fairtrade status and 62 towns have either achieved Fairtrade status or have active steering groups. Almost two-thirds of higher education institutions are also on board, and the Scottish government supports Fairtrade through the use and promotion of Fairtrade products at meetings and catering outlets.

In Scotland around 75% of Scots now buy a Fairtrade product annually.

Martin Rhodes, director of the Scottish Fair Trade Forum said: “The award marks the success of the partnership between producers in the developing world and consumers and campaigners in Scotland. Fair Trade premiums paid to producers have enabled them to enjoy higher and more stable incomes.”

International development minister, Humza Yousaf MSP, said he was delighted with the status and saw it as a catalyst for other projects, such as Fairtrade Footballs – an initiative involving working with young people in disadvantaged areas to promote the use of Fairtrade footballs and raise awareness of fairness, equality and ethics in sport and trade.

Howard Msukwa is a rice farmer in Malawi who works his 1.5 acres by hand with no irrigation. He visited Scotland last year to raise awareness of the importance of Fairtrade goods. “The Fair Trade Nation status really shows how Scotland thinks about a world that is very far from them,” he said. “About the people they don’t know, about the poverty other people are going through.”