South Lanarkshire is a FairTrade zone

Published: Thursday 27 February 2020

Chief Executive Cleland Sneddon, Food policy officer Helene Gourichon and Council Leader, John Ross are standing together on the steps of council headquarters with an enlarged version of the council's Fairtrade certification.

One hundred cafes, shops and outlets are now selling or serving Fairtrade goods in 18 towns and villages in South Lanarkshire.

This commitment from businesses, backing from the active Fairtrade towns and their communities, and the council’s own support of ethical trading, has helped South Lanarkshire renew its Fairtrade Zone status for the first time since 2013.

Council Leader, John Ross and Chief Executive Cleland Sneddon took the chance to publicise the award earlier this week to coincide with the launch of the annual Fairtrade Fortnight.

The event focuses on the benefits of Fairtrade to those who produce, sell and consume goods. It focuses on a range of issues including:

  • Payment of fair prices to producers as well as a premium to improve their social, economic and environmental conditions;
  • Transparent commercial relationships;
  • Good working conditions;
  • No child labour, no forced labour and no discrimination including gender equity;
  • Conservation and preservation of the environment

As well as supporting businesses and consumers from East Kilbride to Forth to offer Fairtrade products, the council has also implemented a range of initiatives in its own venues and for its workforce.

And, the authority’s Procurement Strategy commits to ‘strive to offer ethically sourced, fairly traded and organic produce wherever possible’.

Additionally, the South Lanarkshire Good Food Strategy (2020-25) due to be published in the coming weeks sets out a variety of objectives and actions to support the development of healthier, fairer and more sustainable food systems.

The Strategy was endorsed by the council’s Executive committee in December.

Councillor Ross is delighted to have once again achieved Fairtrade status for South Lanarkshire. He added: “In January 2019 the council passed a resolution supporting Fairtrade, and in doing so, renewed its support to Fairtrade and in particular the commitment to renew our Fairtrade Zone Status.

“It remains a source of pride that Strathaven was the first Scottish town to be awarded Fairtrade status, showing a genuine commitment from the local community to make a change.

“Since then Cambuslang/ Rutherglen, Biggar, East Kilbride and Hamilton have joined them and our officers continue to support many more of our diverse towns and villages to do the same.

“What is even more encouraging is that this is a wide ranging commitment which goes beyond shops and cafes. All of the Fairtrade town groups have achieved a positive level of community engagement with locally owned workplaces too, and most have produced business directories as guides for consumers.”

Chief Executive Cleland Sneddon is also impressed by the commitment of South Lanarkshire’s school pupils. He said: "Let’s not forget that the youngest among us can often be the best advocates for change.

"That’s why it’s such a boost to note that already more than one in three of our schools actively engages with the Fairtrade message, in their dinner halls, classrooms and through their charitable support.

“This Fairtrade Fortnight shines a light on one of the most important global issues of our time and I am proud that South Lanarkshire is playing such an active and positive part.”

Communities of all descriptions can apply to the Fairtrade Foundation to achieve Fairtrade status. Such a move shows commitment to supporting Fairtrade principles and using licensed products with the Fairtrade Mark.

More than 600 communities across the UK have now achieved Fairtrade status.

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