Jo Swinson MP for East Dunbartonshire is encouraging local residents to support Fairtrade Fortnight 2014. This year's event will run from 24 February until 9 March.
Jo is a long-standing supporter of the Fairtrade movement, which ensures that producers in developing countries are paid a minimum guaranteed price for their goods. In return, producers agree to maintain employment and environmental standards.
Commenting, Jo said:
“When the Fairtrade movement was founded, the only product available was a single chocolate bar. Since then, the range and availability of Fairtrade goods has grown to the extent that Fairtrade sales in the UK topped £1.5 billion in 2012.
"So many local people here in East Dunbartonshire already support Fair Trade to ensure that farmers and producers around the world get a fair deal. East Dunbartonshire has been a Fairtrade Zone for many years with Fairtrade schools, groups, nurseries and now a Fairtrade town – Lenzie, in our area.
“Local residents were also recognised nationally for their commitment to Fairtrade at Scotland’s first ever Fair Trade Awards last September. Tracy Mitchell was awarded the Campaigner of the Year award for being the driving force behind the Fair Trade Nurseries pilot project, the first of its kind in Scotland, the UK and beyond, as well as for coordinating Lenzie’s successful Fair Trade Town campaign.
“John Riches was awarded Outstanding Achievement for his 33-year dedication to Fair Trade that has seen him establish charities and import rice from subsistence farmers in Malawi that has changed the lives of 3,000 rice farmers, lifting them out of poverty.”