Fairtrade Fortnight was celebrated across Scotland this year, and included many informative and fun events in schools, colleges, businesses and other organisations who are interested in supporting Fair Trade and Scotland as a Fair Trade Nation.

Here are a few highlights from communities across Scotland.

Perth & Kinross becomes a Fairtrade Zone 

In addition to Scotland renewing its status as a Fairtrade Nation during Fairtrade Fortnight, Perth and Kinross celebrated becoming the 25th local authority in Scotland to achieve Fairtrade Zone status. Perth and Kinross has 11 Fairtrade Champion Councillors, and three Fairtrade Flagship Employers (Culture Perth and Kinross, Live Active Leisure and Highland Spring). The Perth and Kinross Fairtrade Steering Group made the annoucement at an event at Bell’s Sports Centre (pictured above) on Sunday 11 March. Congratulations to all involved.

Hamilton pupils walk to school for a Fair Trade Breakfast 

On 3 March, St. Elizabeth’s Primary in Hamilton hosted a free “Fair Trade Breakfast” for students who chose to walk to school that day. Students received a breakfast of toast and Fairtrade Hot Chocolate donated by Tesco Hillhouse. Afterwards, students visited a local ASN Secondary School to entertain with songs about Fair Trade.

Lenzie Fair Traders hold a creative coffee morning and fair

The town of Lenzie in East Dunbartonshire put on a coffee morning and Fair Trade fair on 11 March at Lenzie Union Church in partnership with Just Trading Scotland, Silver Stag of Scotland, Gavin’s Mill and local Lenzie schools.

Children from local schools shared posters, artwork and writing reflecting on Fair Trade principles and community which were displayed throughout the church. The event included crafts for children, a selection of Fairtrade gifts and tasty baked goods, and even a smoothie-making machine!

Airdrie library takes a “Fairtrade Break” 

The Airdrie Fairtrade Town Steering Committee held a “Take a Break for Fairtrade” event in Airdrie Library on 3 March. Fairtrade tea, coffee, sugar and biscuits were offered to everyone who visited the library, and conversations spread awareness of the importance of buying fairly traded goods. Members of the Steering Committee who attended enjoyed chatting to everyone – from well-informed senior citizens to the enthusiastic young mothers and babies from the Book Bug session at the library.

Paisley performs for Fair Trade

Rainbow Turtle, a trading company and charity based in Paisley, held a very creative fundraising event called ‘Ironed Man’ during Fairtrade Fortnight. A group of three men called the “Blues Buddies” performed with the Renfrewshire Community Gospel Choir in Paisley town centre for a crowd of approximately 100 people. As the choir sang Aretha Franklin’s version of Respect, the men danced and removed various layers of clothing before ironing them. The Blues Buddies removed all their clothes down to their Fairtrade underwear and bow ties. The idea of removing the clothes was to highlight the links between what we wear and the exploitation of garment workers in other parts of the world.

The event raised over £1,200 for Rainbow Turtle and helped to raise awareness about Fairtrade clothing.

Whitburn’s Fair Trade coffee morning

A very busy Fairtrade coffee morning was held in Whitburn, West Lothian. The event raised £660 to twin 11 toilets through Toilet Twinning, a donation system which helps those in poverty have access to a proper latrine and clean water. The event was organised by Councillor Harry Cartmill, Elyse Kirkham of Toilet Twinning, and Gillian Reid, Secretary of Bathgate Fairtrade Town Steering Group.

Orkney Cathedral in Fairtrade colours

Orkney Fair Trade Group celebrated Fairtrade Fortnight by lighting up St. Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall in the Fairtrade colours of blue and green.

Balerno launches giant Fairtrade banana photo campaign

Balerno Fairtrade Group had a busy Fairtrade Fortnight with a ‘Fairtrade Break’ event in the Parish Church Hall which was attended by more than 200 people and included Fair Trade craft and food stalls, a raffle, baking and children’s activities as well as a ‘smoothie bike’ which was pedalled by local children and politicians. Another highlight of the event was the award presentation for the winners of the Fair Trade Poetry competition which Balerno Fairtrade group ran at Dean Park Primary School alongside an exhibition of their work.

Balerno Fairtrade Group also launched a Giant Fairtrade Banana picture campaign in local schools, churches, organisations and business to encourage these groups to show their support for Fairtrade.

The group also had representatives at the Fairtrade Fortnight events at the Scottish and UK parliament.

Ullapool: 10 years as a Fairtrade Village 

Ullapool marked their 10th year as Fairtrade Village and this year’s Fairtrade Fortnight with a Fair Trade Fashion show and party, and football tournament.  The football tournament was organised by Active Schools and supported by Bala Sport. Over 100 young people took part in the event. 

Strathaven Primary School Competition to celebrate 15 years as a Fairtrade Town

Strathaven Fairtrade Group held a Fairtrade Fortnight coffee morning on Saturday 11th March. The event was well attended with a busy Fair Trade craft table. As part of the event, there was a prize giving ceremony to announce the winners of a Fairtrade competition which the group ran in Chapelton Primary, Gilmourton Primary, Glassford Primary, Kirklandpark Primary, Sandford Primary and St Patrick’s Primary. A booklet comprising all completion entries is being printed to commemorate Strathaven’s 15 years as a Fairtrade town.

A big thanks and well done to all who participated and helped make this a successful and inspiring Fairtrade Fortnight 2017!