Perfect day marked Fair Trade Nation status achievement images

Poster by Morningside Primary, Wishaw

Perfect day marked Fair Trade Nation status achievement

Scotland's Fair Trade Festival took place last month in Perth bringing together a mix of people from across Scotland to celebrate the Fair Trade Nation achievement. It was a day for campaigners to come together to celebrate Fair Trade.

The Deputy Provost of Perth and Kinross opened the day by welcoming all to the event held at the Station Hotel in Perth. The event was hosted by Lady Miss Emma from Heartland FM, who kept the audiences informed of events throughout the day. A range of speakers were scheduled throughout the day talking about a range of issues around Fair Trade. Audiences heard from Humza Yousaf MSP, Minister for External Affairs and International Development, Elen Jones (Fair Trade Wales), Jayde Bradley (Traidcraft), Kathryn Sygrove (BAFTS) and Betsy Reed, the Forum's first director.

The key presentation of the day was made by Yunita Anggraini and Ukrumah Suda from Pekerti Nusantara, an Indonesian company founded in 1979 to provide employment opportunities for rural and marginalised workers. The Fair Trade handicrafts they produce have been sold on four different continents and have greatly helped in keeping the community together.

School campaigners were front and centre telling audiences about their activities in promoting Fair Trade throughout their schools. Carlogie Primary and Stonelaw High School were among the pupils that gave performances. Pupils from St. Elizabeth Primary delighted audiences with their very own rap song about Fair Trade. This primary school later won the Community Award in our first ever Fair Trade Awards.

Music was a popular theme throughout the day with BBC Scotland broadcaster, Tom Morton entertaining audiences with his "Fairly Good Show" that was inspired by his Fairly Long Ride, undertaken last year in support of the Fair Trade Nation campaign. Songs, especially written to engage children of nursery age attracted families on the day.

The stalls started setting up bright and early filling the market place with a treat for the senses. Freshly brewed Oromo Coffee scented the air, as did the cooking demonstrations by Savour the Flavour. The Garden Bar was the ideal venue for the Co-operative wine tasting and gave visitors and some stalls holders, who managed to escape for a few minutes, a taste of some of the best Fairtrade wines they carry.

The crafts on display were an explosion of colours and textures. Beads, paper, cushion covers, embroidery and more offered visitors an abundance of gift ideas for visitors. A Fair Trade beauty products range was also on sale and proved popular with some of our volunteers. Traidcraft had a display of their new products in a separate room, allowing some stall-holders the opportunity to browse and order for their shops.

Information stalls from Oxfam, SCIAF, Shared Interest and others engaged visitors with some of their current campaigns and their work in general and how people might want to get involved.

In a corner of the market place, the photographer was busy taking pictures of people who agreed to take part in the Linking Hands photo project (more information about the project will be available soon). An inflatable Fair Trade sculpture occupied the opposite corner with many people taking interest. Children and adults alike were drawn to the face painter, whose designs were worn proudly all day.
One of the highlights was the judging of a bake-off competition, which was won by Craig Sullivan for his truly delicious truffles. Thanks to all those who contributed baked goodies for they seemed to feed the multitudes in the hall afterwards.

The day ended on a high note with the Scottish Fair Trade Awards being given out to campaigners. The crowds dispersed with goodies they bought and perhaps some new information about how to get involved in Fair Trade. Perth's hospitality was much appreciated, as it was the city where the Scottish Fair Trade Forum was launched, making it a fitting location for the festival.