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Aberdeenshire Council renews its commitment to Fairtrade

By David Porter

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Aberdeenshire Council has renewed its commitment to Fairtrade for the region after the authority’s Sustainability Committee approved the application for Fairtrade status.

Fairtrade products are available throughout the north-east
Fairtrade products are available throughout the north-east

Fairtrade is a way to ensure that farmers and producers get fair prices for their products and raw materials. That, in turn, allows them to improve their living standards, invest in their communities and businesses, protect our shared environment, and improve workers’ rights and working conditions.

The application was sent to the Fairtrade Foundation for approval, which was awarded on Friday, September 1 and continues Aberdeenshire’s Fairtrade status for the next three years.

Back in 2013, Aberdeenshire became the 17th Fairtrade Zone, a contribution that supported Scotland in becoming a Fairtrade nation.

Even throughout the challenges of the pandemic, great work has been done to help promote Fairtrade across the region in the past three years.

The Aberdeenshire Fairtrade Steering Group promotes Fairtrade in their community areas. It is chaired by an Aberdeenshire Council officer and comprised of dedicated volunteers from across groups and across the region to share knowledge, ideas, opportunities, and challenges.

The group has organised online events, held stalls in their community, created promotional material, paid membership to—and worked closely with—the Scottish Fair Trade Forum and other fair trade groups and supported the development of a Fairtrade e-learning module for the public sector.

Looking ahead, Fairtrade town trails are being discussed by the group to share information about area links to Fairtrade and guide people to what is on offer locally through the use of QR codes.

Other plans include building even stronger collaborative relationships with organisations such as the Co-op and Aberdeen City group and further engaging with primary, secondary, and higher education establishments, businesses, and places of worship about Fairtrade.

Reflecting on the meeting, Sustainability Committee Chair Councillor Sarah Dickinson said: “There is a lot of work that goes into the activity behind this application and all the events that really drive engagement with Fairtrade and support for it.

"My thanks go out to all those involved for helping to promote something that is improving the lives of farmers and workers locally and nationally.”

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