We were delighted to have Colin Smyth MSP sponsor and host a reception at the Scottish Parliament on 24 May 2023 to mark Scotland’s 10th anniversary as a Fair Trade Nation
The reception brought Fair Trade campaigners with MSPs to mark #10years as a Fair Trade Nation and to call for a #FairTradeFuture.
We were delighted to be joined by so many people so committed to Fair Trade, including the 16 MSPs who attended and signed the Fair Trade Pledge.
Colin Smyth MSP opened the evening, highlighting his support for Fair Trade. recognising the long history and continued campaigning for Fair Trade in South Scotland, particularly in Dumfries and Galloway. Mr Smyth then went on to introduce each speaker.
The programme for the evening was as follows:
Welcome, Colin Smyth MSP
Introduction, Christina McKelvie MSP, Minister for Culture, Europe and International Development
A Fair Trade Future, Karena Jarvie, Perth and Kinross Fairtrade Zone Group
Scottish and Malawian School Pupils Q&A, Young people from Karonga District, Malawi and from St John the Baptist Primary School, South Lanarkshire
Fair Trade – our partnership with Scotland, Howard Msukwa, KASFA
Thanks and close, Martin Rhodes, Chief Executive, Scottish Fair Trade Forum
We were really pleased to be joined by Christina McKelvie MSP, Minister for Culture, Europe and International Development who pledged her support for a Fair Trade future, and talked about her own history supporting Fair Trade in her constituency, along with campaigners such as Carol Clarke of Hamilton Fairtrade Group.
Another Fair Trade campaigner spoke next. Karena Jarvie of Perth and Kinross Fairtrade Zone Group, representing Scotland’s Fair Trade supporters said:
“It is wonderful that Scotland is the 2nd Fair Trade Nation in the world and that tonight we are celebrating our first 10 years, but I think we are all very aware that the next 10 years are going to be harder and that it’s now even more crucial that we raise the importance of Fair Trade in Scotland for the sake of the producers around the world, and the planet”.
Next we heard from children from the Kilombero Rice community in the Karonga District in Northern Malawi, in a Q&A with children from St John the Baptist Primary School, South Lanarkshire who spoke to the audience in person.
This was followed by a pre-recorded message from Howard Msukwa, Kaporo Smallholder Farmer Association (KASFA) – Kilombero Rice farmer. Howard discusses about the devastating impact of climate change on farmers in the Karonga District in Malawi this year, and about the importance of Fair Trade both in terms of the positive business impact and in giving farmers a voice.
Martin Rhodes, Chief Executive of the Scottish Fair Trade Forum spoke and thanked everyone for their continued support, highlighting the need to do more as we move forward as a Fair Trade Nation. Colin Smyth MSP closed the event.
16 MSPs joined us on the evening, along with over 80 Fair Trade campaigners from across Scotland. We were so pleased with the interest in the event, and to have had Colin Smyth MSP host the evening, and Christina McKelvie MSP, Minister for International Development and Aileen Burmeister of Fair Trade Wales join us.
The 16 MSPs who joined us recommitted and pledged their support for Fair Trade. See all MSPs who have signed the Fair Trade Pledge.
Thank you to everyone who attended and made the evening so successful. Thank you to all of the speakers and to Eileen Imlah of New College Lanarkshire for bringing the banner her students have been making to celebrate Scotland’s 10 years a s a Fair Trade Nation.