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Scotland could become Fairtrade trailblazer in 2009


Green Party chief Robin Harper has called on Scottish Ministers to buy ethically traded products.

Scotland could be a Fairtrade nation by next Christmas if the Scottish Government and other bodies acted, it has been claimed

Green MSP Robin Harper urged all public bodies to consider buying Fairtrade products when making purchases.The Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund has previously calculated that if the Holyrood administration spent 0.5% of its procurement budget according to Fairtrade principles, this would double the market in Scotland.

And Mr Harper said such a move could also benefit Malawi - a country Scotland has close links with - as much of the Fairtrade sugar sold in the UK comes from the African nation.

Mr Harper, a Lothians MSP, sad: “Buying Fairtrade is one of the best ways Scots can provide support with dignity for Malawi and other developing countries.

“Income received through Fairtrade projects supports education, health services, clean water and much, much more.

“If just one pound in every two hundred spent by the Scottish Government went on Fairtrade goods, the support Scotland provides to Fairtrade producers would double.”

He added: “It’s been more than two years since Scottish ministers committed to making Scotland a ‘Fairtrade nation’, an objective we wholeheartedly support … (and) 2009 must be the year the Scottish Government and others deliver on that ambition and make next Christmas sweeter for Fairtrade farmers around the world.”

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “All coffee, tea and sugar provided by Scottish Government hospitality is Fairtrade or ethically traded.

“Fairtrade and ethically traded coffee, tea, sugar and chocolate bars are also available in all Scottish Government staff restaurants.”


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