Monday 27th February saw the start of Fairtrade Fortnight 2012. I travelled to Glasgow to celebrate the launch of the Fortnight’s activities with one of our partner organisations, the Scottish Fairtrade Forum.
The event was opened by the President of the Scottish Trades Union Congress, Mike Kirby, who highlighted Scotland’s campaign to become a fair trade nation. He welcomed an international guest, Jennifer Wettaka, a fair trade coffee producer from the Gumutindo co-operative in Uganda. Jennifer spoke about how the group made use of the fair trade premium, emphasising that it was this pricing strategy that had allowed their farmer’s children to attend school. One of the audience members asked Jennifer whether there was any other support for the community; she simply answered no – there is no other mechanism. She said she hoped to benefit from a long partnership with Fairtrade and with buyers Equal Exchange, who were also there on the night to showcase their ‘Grown by Women’ range.
Martin Rhodes, the Director of the Scottish Fair Trade Forum was there to launch their new slogan – “Scotland is going Fair Trade. Are you?” He urged individuals and organisations to become truly committed to the campaign by signing pledge cards.
Closer to the Newcastle office, the Sunderland Soroptimists are currently running their fair trade and Shared Interest information stall in the Sunderland City Library. I was on hand earlier in the week to chat to local schools that were passing through.
Next week will see a programme of international celebrations for International Women’s Day 2012. The Shared Interest team will be part of a Fairtrade reception at the National Glass Centre in Sunderland, which will see several regional partnerships come together to raise awareness of women’s issues. Our network of ambassadors will also be attending events o to mark this day. If you live in Leeds, be sure to check out celebrations which are being organised by the Co-operative Membership Team and Daisy Green. See our events calendar for further details.
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