East Dunbartonshire secures Fairtrade accolade for sixth time

P6 pupils from Lairdsland Primary are pictured with Council leader Rhondda Geekie and members of the Steering Group.
P6 pupils from Lairdsland Primary are pictured with Council leader Rhondda Geekie and members of the Steering Group.

East Dunbartonshire’s appetite to help has been recognised again – with the area’s prized status as a Fairtrade Zone renewed for another two years.

This is the sixth time East Dunbartonshire has been declared a Fairtrade Zone, guaranteeing the honour until 2019.

The efforts of East Dunbartonshire Fair Trade Steering Group have been praised by the Fairtrade Foundation, which also hailed “remarkable” work with schools and nurseries and the local community.

The Foundation also praised the Council’s “amazing” support despite budgetary pressures and ongoing challenges.

During Fairtrade Fortnight – which ends on March 12 – the Council worked with the Steering Group and local organisations to raise awareness, with Fair Trade stalls placed in a number of Council building receptions.

Meanwhile, Lairdsland Primary pupils, in Kirkintilloch, learned about Fair Trade and created artwork.

Councillor Geekie said: “I was delighted to see the wonderful artwork created by talented youngsters at Lairdsland Primary for Fairtrade Fortnight.

“It’s particularly apt as we have just learned that East Dunbartonshire has been awarded Fairtrade Zone status for an impressive sixth time. That is excellent news and a reflection of the great work being carried out by the Steering Group, with strong support from the Council.

“As an authority we are committed to the ethos and values of Fair Trade and will continue to work with local communities, organisations and traders on this important issue. We have come a long way since East Dunbartonshire was designated a Fairtrade Zone in October 2007 - one of Scotland’s first.”

The Council – which recently approved a new resolution supporting Fair Trade locally – works with groups in Lenzie, Bearsden and Milngavie. Lenzie Fairtrade Group held a special coffee morning recently and local Fair Trade efforts have been boosted with the recent opening of a new shop and café - Gavin’s Mill - in Milngavie.

”Adam Gardner, Communities Campaigns manager at the Fairtrade Foundation, said: “We’re very pleased that East Dunbartonshire has renewed its Fairtrade status and laid out clear exciting goals to take Fairtrade further.

“Thanks to the ongoing support of the public and campaigners, an increasing number of farmers in developing countries are now selling their products on Fairtrade terms, bringing them a stable income, and the chance to trade their way out of poverty.”