2016 Scottish Fair Trade Awards

On 22 November, the Forum travelled to Aberdeen to present the Fourth Annual Scottish Fair Trade Awards. The ceremony was held in local Fair Trade favourite – Books and Beans Café – and was attended by Aberdeen Fair Trade campaigners and students as well as representatives from the University and a local school.  The Aberdeen Fair Trade trike was parked up outside the café and served as reception desk for the evening, welcoming guests in from the cold!

The 2016 Award Winners are:

Volunteer of the Year 2016 – Paul Tofield

Paul’s work has embraced the Fair Trade principles of partnership work and solidarity, through his exchange of farming knowledge and skills with rice producers in Karongo, Malawi.  After learning from Malawian Fair Trade Rice Farmers that threshing in Malawi was still carried out manually, Paul utilised his farming knowledge and engineering skills to develop an innovative threshing machine based on machines used in 19th century Orkney. 2016 has been a breakthrough year for the partnership: Paul and friends came up with a working design which is modular, built around two metal frames and is powered by pedals. Paul continues to work in collaboration with the farmers on developing ways to further reduce the manual labour required in rice farming in Malawi. The nominator said Paul’s threshing machines, have the potential to create ‘a revolution in Malawian agriculture’.

Community Award 2016 – Dunscore Village Group

This award goes to a Village group which, incredibly, has 16 of the Village’s 600 residents involved in an active Fair Trade group organising a stream of events, activities, and initiatives throughout the year. Their determined Fair Trade efforts have resulted in local and regional press coverage of successful events such as the Big Fairtrade Breakfast and a Big Brunch during Fairtrade Fortnight. Their unwavering dedication to working in the local school over a number of years has paid off, with pupils now displaying interest and appreciation in fairness and Fair Trade. They recently ran their own local business engagement campaign which had a 100% positive response rate! The tremendous efforts put forward by the Fair Trade group from this small village shows that size is no barrier to making a huge impact when you have enthusiasm and perseverance.

Campaign of the Year 2016 –  Dundee, Dumfries, Livingston, Mid-Formartine, Queensferry and Troon Fair Trade groups

The Campaigner or Campaign of the Year award recognises a campaigner or campaign in Scotland that has put an incredible effort into that cause.

This year the award goes to six Fair Trade groups for their Fairtrade football campaigns. Between them, they have distributed Bala Sport Footballs, lobbied local government over the procurement of Fair Trade balls, worked with schools, youth groups and local communities, hosted popular events such as the Fair Trade Bazaar and Beat the Goalie and even involved local professional football players. These Fair Trade groups have generated significant media and press coverage and promoted awareness of Fair Trade to a diverse range of people.

Innovation Award 2016 –  Forth Valley College HND Early Education & Childcare – Fiona Paterson, Morag Dunion, Zoe Harvey, Silke Duncan, Claire McInally and Michelle Sadler

The Fair Trade movement always needs innovative ways of connecting people to create new avenues for engaging people with the cause.

Our winners this year are a group of Forth Valley College students who harnessed their collective creative power to write, and illustrate a delightful children’s book using their ‘Jolley Trolley’ character. Jolley Trolly explains Fair Trade through a story about a mystical learning adventure that includes crashing into Fairtrade bananas in the supermarket!

This engaging book will prove to be an invaluable resource for parents, carers, educators and children’s librarians.

Special Recognition – Rainbow Turtle

The judges wished to give special recognition for the efforts of an organisation who was nominated in several categories. This organisation has exemplified commitment to Fair Trade in Scotland by sourcing and selling fairly traded products as well as educating and campaigning about Fair Trade. Their trading arm supports Fair Trade producers by offering a wide range of products in its Paisley shop, on stalls and online, whilst the charitable arm has successfully raised the profile of Fair Trade in the local area through organising events and working with schools, faith groups and other organisations.

They worked in partnership with local community campaigners to make Paisley a Fairtrade Town in 2002, and building on that success went on to help make Renfrewshire a Fairtrade Zone in 2009 and have also supported a number of other towns in achieving this status.

Rainbow Turtle has been successful in reaching a wide audience with their education work, largely owing to the innovative methods used by their Education Officer. This includes the use of podcasts, videos, blogs and interactive social media campaigns.

Outstanding Achievement –  Sue Good

We were inundated with nominations for this category; an illustration of just how many people across Scotland have shown an impressive level of commitment to Fair Trade. The person the judges selected for this award has campaigned consistently, and passionately for Fair Trade in both her professional work as an Education Worker at Montgomery Development Education Centre, and also within her private life helping her city achieve and maintain its Fairtrade status. Sue has also represented Scotland on the Fairtrade Foundation’s National Campaigner Committee and was involved in Scotland’s Fair Trade Nation campaign right from the start. The consistency, energy, time, enthusiasm and dedication which Sue has directed into furthering the cause of Fair Trade serves as an inspiration and an example to many.

You can see all the photos from the Awards on our Facebook Page .

It gives the Forum great pleasure to be able to recognise individuals, communities and organisations who have made a significant impact on Fair Trade and have been an inspiration to those around them. We are grateful to all of those who made nominations for awards.

Congratulations to all the winners. There are so many amazing Fair Trade activities and campaigns happening around Scotland each year – so please do remember to nominate them for the Awards next year!

Thank you to the Aberdeen Fair Trade City Group for bringing the trike along and allowing us to make it part of our event, and to the team at Books & Beans for their hospitality.