Biggar is a Fairtrade Town

Published: Tuesday 26 November 2019

A group of six pupils from Biggar Primary School, with members of the town's Fairtrade Steering Group, Provost Ian McAllan and two men dressed as life sized bananas, show off the town's Fairtrade Directory.

Biggar has become the fifth South Lanarkshire town to be awarded Fairtrade status.

Following in the footsteps of Rutherglen/Cambuslang, East Kilbride, Hamilton and Strathaven, Biggar has met the necessary five Fairtrade goals following a campaign spear-headed by the community of Biggar Primary School.

Having become a Fairtrade school a decade ago, pupils were keen to widen the status town-wide and so launched a campaign to get local businesses and organisations on board.They started by creating a Fairtrade Directory, featuring those who had pledged to sell more Fairtrade products or serve more Fairtrade food.

The campaign soon picked up the support of a number of others in the town including schools, Biggar Kirk, St Isadore’s RC Church, the Gillespie Centre and a variety of voluntary and youth groups.

Now, three years on from the initial idea, and led by a Fairtrade Steering Group, the goal has become reality.

To mark the award, Provost Ian McAllan visited representatives of the Fairtrade Town Group at a celebration at Biggar Primary School last month.

While there, he spoke to members of the school committee about the difference that Fairtrade makes to communities around the world.

Said Provost McAllan: “The Fairtrade movement now boasts more than 2,000 communities worldwide, taking practical steps to making a fairer world trade system a reality. For example, Fairtrade helps small-scale farmers and crafts people ensure they earn decent incomes and have long-term contracts with companies.

“This may seem a world away from our lives here in Biggar, but the hand of friendship that Fairtrade allows us to extend by selling and consuming their goods, makes the world seem like a much smaller place. I am exceptionally proud that Biggar is the 5th town in South Lanarkshire to make the grade, and congratulate all who have worked so hard to make it happen.”

Janet Moxley of Biggar's Fairtrade Town Steering group said "We are delighted that after several years of hard work Biggar is now a Fairtrade Town. We have had huge support from a large number of businesses and organisations in the town without which this would not have been possible.

"Obtaining Fairtrade Town status is great for Biggar, but even better for the people in the developing world who are paid fair prices when people buy Fairtrade products.”

The Fairtrade mark independently certifies that products meet economic, social and environmental standards. As such, it is the most widely recognised ethical mark worldwide.