Scotland has a long history of supporting Fair Trade and over the years, many groups and individuals have worked to advance the cause and ethos of Fair Trade in their communities. We hold the Scottish Fair Trade Awards each year to reward new volunteers, encourage the communication and sharing of fresh ideas whilst also recognising long-time advocates.

A big thank you to Reflex Blue, the Energy Agency, Gavin’s Mill and Scotmid Co-operative for sponsoring this year’s awards.

The winners of the 2018 Scottish Fair Trade Awards are:

The 2018 Innovation Award goes to the group of pupils at Kyle Academy who created and run the socially conscious and innovative Caring Café – a café with a true social mission. The idea of the caring café was born from the Young Entrepreneurs Course but the pupils decided that they wanted to provide a service to benefit the school and the wider community. The group to date has hosted six Caring Cafes, with numbers attending ranging between 20- 40 and including pupils from S1 to S6, staff  (including non-teaching staff) and members of the wider community. Their motto is ‘Care about coffee, care about people!’

For her extraordinary determination, enthusiasm and commitment to Fair Trade, the Volunteer of the Year Award 2018 goes to Judith Mylne. Judith has been involved in the Fair Trade movement from the very beginning, and consistently goes above and beyond to organise events, stalls and meetings to promote Fair Trade and its many benefits. She has been a supporter of JTS for many years and as soon as she heard that the Malawian rice farmers (Howard and Webster) were going to be in Dumfries this year for the Forum’s AGM, she arranged to show them around and organise local press to cover their visit. She has already volunteered to organise an event for JTS’s next producer visit in Dumfries.

The Ayr Fairtrade Town Partnership is working to renew its Fairtrade town status and in this process has greatly promoted action against climate change and good environmental practice. The partnership established the annual Schools Fairtrade Conference, where schools involved in Fair Trade and eco-education make presentations to promote theses causes. This has prompted more schools to get involved. On top of that, they work to raise awareness about Fair Trade and Climate Change through displays at different events and even hosted workshops on the topic at Provost’s Schools Eco Challenge.

This award recognises the work of Anna Bowman and her team at All Things Fair for establishing and running a thriving Fair Trade shop on the high street of Blairgowrie. The shop not only stocks a wide range of Fairtrade goods meaning that the town of Blairgowrie and surrounding areas have a great selection of Fair Trade goods available on their doorstep, but it also promotes Fairtrade Fortnight each year and hosts other events. Anna has also developed an excellent and almost annual event in a Fairtrade Fashion show, attracting around 100 people whilst raising significant sums of money for charity. The events also involve a number of diverse volunteers, whilst raising awareness of the selection of Fair Trade clothes available.

The Campaign of the Year Award goes to the South Ayrshire Fairtrade Zone committee for making their community go ‘Bananas for Fair Trade’.  In a series of banana themes races, like a banana relay or a banana and spoon race, on the beaches of Troon, Prestwick, and Ayr, they celebrated the achievement of their Fairtrade Zone status. With this innovative, fresh and bananas idea, they brought a splash of colour to a greyish Saturday in September 2018.

A Special Recognition Award goes to Lynne Rankin and the Kyle Academy Fair Trade Co-op group in South Ayrshire. Over the years, Lynne Rankin has organised many events around Fair Trade, which have attracted up to 150 people. She actively ensures that Fair Trade products are available in the school and chairs the Ayr Fairtrade Town partnership. In this position, she continuously promotes Fair Trade in the community at events and workshops. The Fairtrade Co-op at Kyle Academy has been active since 2008 and in their 10 years of activity, they have organised and taken part in many events around Fair Trade. They regularly take part in the 90kg Rice Challenge and host an annual chocolate tasting as well as their Tea and Coffee Afternoon during which they raise money for Amnesty International.

The Outstanding Achievement Award of 2018 goes to Angela Oakely, who has supported Fair Trade in Scotland and the Scottish Fair Trade Forum for many years. She is the chair of the East Dunbartonshire Fair Trade Group and, throughout her time as a volunteer, she has worked tirelessly to promote Fair Trade activity, particularly in schools across Scotland. She headed the SFTF’s Fairtrade Cotton Schoolwear Campaign, and invested a great deal of time in research, training and schools involvement. She continues to visit many schools and gives talks and workshop about Fair Trade.  We look forward to seeing what she gets up to in the future!

Thank you to all the winners, nominees and the sponsors of the sixth annual Scottish Fair Trade Awards!