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Local authority backs new Fair Trade charter

By Kyle Ritchie

Aberdeenshire Council has pledged its support in recognition of the new International Fair Trade Charter.

It is the second local authority in Scotland to do so following approval by the council’s sustainability committee.

The charter – which was launched late last year – lays out the purpose and aims of Fair Trade as agreed by the two largest global organisations: the World Fair Trade Organisation and Fairtrade International.

The council's sustainability committee pledged its support for the new International Fair Trade Charter.
The council's sustainability committee pledged its support for the new International Fair Trade Charter.

The new document refreshes the vision of Fair Trade and more closely aligns with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by highlighting Fair Trade’s long-standing role in addressing challenges covered by the SDGs, including inequality, gender rights, and climate change.

Chairman of Aberdeenshire Council’s sustainability committee, Colin Pike, said: “Pledging support for the new International Fair Trade Charter further demonstrates Aberdeenshire Council’s commitment to the global Fair Trade movement.

“We as a sustainability committee and as a council fully endorse the aims and refreshed vision for Fair Trade in the ever-changing world we live in, and in line with our environment and climate change policy.”

The charter lays out the unique approach, achievements and impacts of Fair Trade and illustrates how inclusive economic growth, fair wages and better working conditions can be achieved while empowering women and ensuring opportunities for the next generation.

Aberdeenshire became the 17th Fairtrade Zone in 2013, contributing to Scotland becoming a Fairtrade Nation.

The area’s current Fairtrade Zone status continues until May 2020, and one of the points in the council’s environment and climate change policy states a commitment to develop an approach to ensure that local environmental, social and economic issues relating to the health and fair treatment of people are considered while also strengthening Aberdeenshire as a Fairtrade Zone.

Committee vice-chairwoman Isobel Davidson said: “Aberdeenshire Council has been committed to the Fair Trade movement for a number of years now in various capacities, and pledging our support for this new International Charter is a further demonstration of our continued advocacy going forward.”

Aberdeenshire Council is also a member of the Scottish Fair Trade Forum (SFTF). The Forum was established in January 2007 to promote the cause of Fair Trade in Scotland and secure status for Scotland.

The SFTF is encouraging other local authorities and public bodies to recognise the International Fair Trade Charter as a common reference document for the global Fair Trade movement.

Further information on Aberdeenshire Council’s commitment to Fair Trade can be found at http://bit.ly/ShFrTrd

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