It’s all Fairtrade in Lenzie

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FAIRTRADE goods hit the spot with savvy shoppers in Lenzie last month.

The Coffee Lounge in the Queen’s Buildings was host for five days to stalls selling a wide variety of fairly-traded foods and crafts.

Lounge manager Fiona Rooney and her staff welcomed the newly-formed Lenzie Fairtrade Group and the walls and windows were festooned with information posters, balloons, bunting and footprint posters made by local children, urging people to ‘Take a Step for Fairtrade’.

Regular customers were not put off by the extra buzz and there were approximately 500 visitors to the stalls, spending around £1,500 on foods and crafts.

Since the Lenzie group was formed at the end of last year, it has recruited 53 volunteers willing to commit time to promoting and developing the cause, working towards the goal of securing Lenzie Fairtrade status.

Other areas in Scotland have the same goal, all with the aim of the country becoming the second-in-the-world Fair Trade Nation, in 2012.

Janet Dickson, who has been selling created crafts in Lenzie and Kirkintilloch for 30 years, said “This is the first time we have had the chance to join together with those who have been working away for years in schools, churches and other organisations and it was a lot of fun as well.

“This was not only profitable for Fairtrade producers, but has been a great community-building exercise, well worth copying in other areas of more than 5,000 people in East Dunbartonshire.”

Lenzie Community Council secretary Tom Gray added: “The Fairtrade Shop has been an amazing venture and a most impressive achievement given the short time the group has been in existence.”

Marian Martin, who has been active in the Fairtrade movement for several years, said: “I had been thinking it was time we went beyond Fairtrade tea and coffee and got people thinking about the whole idea of making sure producers get the fair price which enables them to develop their communities by building schools or health clinics.

“The 90kg rice challenge which we had in the shop is a very direct example. If your organisation can sell 90kg of Malawian rice, which is especially tasty, that is enough for the farmer who grew it to send his child to secondary school for a whole year”.

Keep an eye out for Fairtrade at Lenzie Gala. Visit www.fairtrade.org.uk/step