Congratulations to the winners of the Scottish Fair Trade Awards 2023

Scotmid logoOutstanding Achievement Award sponsored by Scotmid 

Our first award is the Outstanding Achievement Award.

The criteria for being nominated for this Award include a consistent outstanding commitment to Fair Trade, continually making significant achievements through Fair Trade campaigning.

The winners this year absolutely fulfil these criteria and more. The winners were represented at Motherwell’s first Fairtrade event back in 2005! Their latest accolade is being the stars of the short-film viewed earlier ‘An Equal Chance’.

In between, the winners have attended and organised Fairtrade meetings, coffee mornings, fashion shows, presentations and so much more. They have welcomed Kilombero Rice Farmers from Malawi; and a cocoa farmer from the Dominican Republic, and have promoted Fairtrade during COP26 in Glasgow.

Scottish Fair Trade Awards 2023 certificate for Eileen Imlah and her students, New College Lanarkshire - winner of the Outstanding Achievement Award sponsored by ScotmidWe can’t mention these winners without mentioning the famous ‘banana piano’. Its most recent performance was inStudents at New College Lanarkshire holding up their Fair Trade banner November last year at a Christmas Café held in the college during which the students demonstrated the piano to peers, and introduced their shop where they sell their beautifully creative sustainable, upcycled and Fairtrade crafts and gifts. This summer they worked on a banner to celebrate Scotland’s 10th anniversary as a Fair Trade Nation, which you may even have added a stitch or two to at the Scottish Parliament back in May.

This group is doing amazing work using technology to bring Fairtrade to life for the students at New College Lanarkshire. Fairtrade makes a difference to the students and it makes a difference to the farmers and workers they support. This is in no small way down to the dedication and creativity of their lecturer Eileen Imlah.

The winners of this year’s Outstanding Achievement Award are nothing short of outstanding.

The winner is Eileen Imlah and her students at New College Lanarkshire.

The Molly McGavigan Award sponsored by WOSDEC

WOSDEC logoThe next Award is sponsored by WOSDEC in memory of Molly McGavigan, an educator who demonstrated an outstanding commitment to Fair Trade. It is to be awarded to a teacher who has shown an outstanding commitment to Fair Trade.

Our winner is absolutely committed to Fair Trade education. She has been embedding Fair Trade into Global Citizenship and Learning for Sustainability for almost 20 years. Her school has a longstanding partnership with a school in Ghana, close to a cocoa farm. The schools have worked together to present questions to the cocoa farmers, they have exchanged information about food-growing in their school gardens and made recipe books for one another. The school has taken their food project a step further by contacting Tayside Contracts to ask that Fair Trade ingredients be used in school meals.

Scottish Fair Trade Awards 2023 certificate for Keri Reid and Muthill Primary School - winner of the Molly McGavigan Award sponsored by WOSDECThey have been learning about the sustainable development goals and have made posters, written to local newspapers and MPs as well as making a song and video about the goals together with their partner school.

Two children from Muthill Primary School at a Fair Trade event
Image credit: Scottish Fair Trade Forum. Image shows two pupils from Muthill Primary School who spoke at a Fair Trade event in Perth, supported by teacher, Keri Reid.

That’s not all though – they’ve learned about child labour in the cotton industry, held an ethical fashion show, with one pupil writing to shops to ask about their ethical credentials. Most recently the school held an event with a speaker from Perth & Kinross Fairtrade Group, the local Coop MP and a Fairtrade coffee afternoon for parents with a stall of Fairtrade goods, and linked up with the local church on the 90kg Rice Challenge.

None of this would be possible without the hard work and efforts of Keri Reid and her pupils at Muthill Primary School. The winners are true global citizens and we are delighted to present the Molly McGavigan Award to Keri Reid and the pupils at Muthill Primary School.

Fair Trade Community Award sponsored by Perth and Kinross Council

Perth and Kinross Council logoThe Fair Trade Community Award is for any individual, group or organisation that does exceptional campaigning for Fair Trade in their community.

This group got creative and digital during the challenges of 2020, and over the last years they have been reaching different age groups (including younger people), businesses and faith groups in their community. They have attracted media coverage online, and in print. They have healthy Fair Trade sales figures, and have, in addition, raised funds to support Fair Trade businesses.

They get involved in promoting Fairtrade Fortnight and World Fair Trade Day. They have introduced Meru Herbs products (supplied by True Origin) to local deli Billington’s of Lenzie, and supported a recent visit of the Managing Director of Meru Herbs to Scotland.

In May, Lenzie celebrated 10 years as a Fairtrade Town with a concert arranged by the group. Congratulations to Lenzie on your important anniversary, and congratulations again as Lenzie Fair Trade are the winners of this year’s Fair Trade Community Award.

Fair Trade Business Award

This Award is for Fair Trade Businesses that make a contribution to Fair Trade, to people and to planet.

Scottish Fair Trade Awards 2023 certificate for True Origin - winner of the Fair Trade Business AwardOur winner makes a very significant contribution to Fair Trade in Scotland as they import goods from Malawi, Kenya, South Africa and Eswatini which provides the producers with sales at a fair price and helps them to use sustainable farming practices which benefit the planet, as well as so many additional benefits.

They are a World Fair Trade Organization Guaranteed Member, and as such adhere to the 10 principles of Fair Trade. Their Kilombero Rice from Malawi has the award of being the most ethical rice in the UK.

Since Traidcraft went into administration, our winner has sought to minimise the impact on some of the producers which Traidcraft stocked. They have done this by introducing the ‘and friends’ range and by offering discounts to help Fair Trade stall holders access the goods requested by their customers. The staff have worked incredibly hard to manage the crisis of the loss of Traidcraft, driven by the business’s the concern for people and planet.True Origin Foods logo

This year has seen our winner go through a major rebrand from JTS to True Origin. They deserve the Fair Trade Business Award as they are a company who exist to provide dignity through trade with partners in the Global South, employment for local people, and to promote Fair Trade in Scotland. Congratulations to the whole True Origin team, well done.

Innovation Award

The next award this evening is the Innovation Award, which goes to an individual, group or organisation that has created an innovative campaign or taken a new approach to Fair Trade.

This year’s winners actively participate in online events, host Fairtrade stalls throughout the year in their community for different events, reach out to the local elected officials and are active members of the Aberdeenshire Fairtrade Steering group where they share all their ideas with others making Aberdeenshire Fairtrade Zone status a possibility.

On top of this, earlier in the year they were involved in an innovative campaign to promote Fairtrade in football. The aim of the project was to raise awareness of the need for the ethical trading of footballs. They worked with the community and the newly formed Huntly FC Women. At the very first league game at Christie Park against Inverurie Locos, ahead of kick-off, the group presented two Fairtrade footballs and a football bag to the team.

Image of news article about Huntly Ethical Trading Initiative donating a Fairtrade football to local women's team
Image credit: Grampian Online. Image shows Huntly Ethical Trading Initiative handing a Fairtrade Football to Huntly Women in January 2023.

Scottish Fair Trade Awards 2023 certificate for Huntly Ethical Trading Initiative - winner of the Innovation AwardThey got to choose player of the match and present the trophy, and the event was published in the Huntly Express and Highland News and Media publications, as well as Grampian Online.

Huntly Ethical Trading Initiative is innovative as a group with their aim of promoting all ethical trade, local and Fairtrade. This Fairtrade football campaign is an example of their innovative ideas and their dedication to campaigning for ethical and fair trade in their local community.

Congratulations go to Huntly Ethical Trading Initiative.

Fair Trade Education Award sponsored by South Lanarkshire Council

South Lanarkshire Council logoThe Fair Trade Education Award goes to a nursery, school, college, university, or other educational setting or educator that has embedded Fair Trade into Global Citizenship, Learning for Sustainability or other teaching and learning.

Our winner has been a Fair Achiever School since 2019. This means that Fairtrade is embedded in school life. The school has an excellent relationship with the local Fairtrade Village group, who since 2014 has run a monthly Fairtrade school group. Each child in the school takes part in the Fairtrade group for several months and so through fun, innovative and educational sessions they gain a good understanding of the difference Fairtrade makes to farmers and producers around the world.

Over the past year, activities with the children in the Fairtrade group have included making Fairtrade masks, baking with Fairtrade ingredients, tasting Fairtrade coffee, welcoming their parents to a Fairtrade “Wee Brew”, creating a Fairtrade banner and designing fliers about Fairtrade school uniforms.

Over the past year, two activities have stood out as particularly effective. A photo of the children taken from above by a drone, holding a sheet painted with a Fairtrade Mark to use on banners to promote the school’s achievement as a Fairtrade School. And a growing partnership with a school in the sugarcane growing community of Chikwawa in Malawi. Mantchombe Primary School was built using the Fairtrade Premium – the extra sum of money Fairtrade farmers get to invest in

Children holding a Fairtrade Mark painted on a sheet from above
Image credit: Dunscore Primary School. Image shows children from Dunscore Primary School holding a Fairtrade Mark they created.

improving the quality of their lives.

Scottish Fair Trade Awards 2023 certificate for Dunscore Primary School - winner of the Fair Trade Education Award sponsored by South Lanarkshire CouncilA few months back, the children in our winning school heard, over zoom, from a member of Kasinthula Cane Growers Association about Fairtrade, sugarcane farming, and life in Malawi. Now the children here will work on a video about their school and life here in Scotland to show the children at Mantchombe Primary School.

A very deserving school is awarded this year with the Fair Trade Education Award – Dunscore Primary School. Congratulations to everyone involved in this Fairtrade school and community partnership.

Fair Trade and Sustainability Award sponsored by Energy Agency 

This is an award for any project, individual, group or organisation who works to raise awareness of Fair Trade contributing towards a more sustainable world. Energy Agency logo

This year’s winners are passionate about Fairtrade but also sustainability and climate change.

Alford Fairtrade Group and Alford Academy showing items worn in a Fair Trade and sustainable fashion show
Image credit: Scottish Fair Trade Forum. Image shows Alford Fairtrade Group and Alford Academy students holding garments from their Fair Trade and sustainable fashion show.

They work very closely with the local Academy and this year organised a sustainable and Fair Trade fashion show at the school as you’ve just seen in the short film. The reason this group is the recipient of this year’s Fair Trade and Sustainability Award is summarised perfectly in the film.

They supported students in sourcing the clothing, food and drink for the event, and shared details with the wider community through their social media channels. Having the fashion show featured in one of the 5 films to celebrate Scotland’s 10th anniversary as a Fair Trade Nation was the icing on the cake for all involved in their ethical fashion show.

As well as the group actively participating in online events, hosting Fairtrade stalls throughout the year in their Scottish Fair Trade Awards 2023 certificate - winner of the Fair Trade and Sustainability Award - Alford Fairtrade Group, sponsored by Energy Agency community for different events, reaching out to the local elected officials and being involved as members of the Aberdeenshire Fairtrade Steering group, they have been supporting Transform Trade’s campaign for trade and business that puts people and planet first, with a particular focus on the fast fashion industry and on climate change.

They are doing a fantastic job working with Alford Academy to highlight Fairtrade’s ethical and sustainable credentials. The winners are Alford Fairtrade Group. Fantastic achievement – very well done to the group and to the pupils of Alford Academy.

Special Recognition Awards

The Special Recognition Award is for those who are committed to or have made a significant contribution to Fair Trade. There are three winners this year.

Scottish Fair Trade Awards 2023 certificate for Jane Forster, Balerno Fairtrade Village Group - winner of the Special Recognition AwardThe first winner is described as ‘an exceptional advocate for Fair Trade’ having been involved in the various actions and activities of Balerno Fairtrade Village Group for 20 years. Additionally, she has been involved with Edinburgh Fairtrade City group for 10 years. She is a supporter of events at the One World Shop and a regular customer, and her support of Fair Trade is hugely appreciated.

The winner is Jane Forster, congratulations.

Our second winner, is another individual. He has been described as ‘an excellent example of an individual that has demonstrated consistent outstanding commitment to Fair Trade and has continually made significant achievements through Fair Trade campaigning’. Scottish Fair Trade Awards 2023 certificate for Peter Bellarby, Stonehouse Fairtrade Steering Group - winner of the Special Recognition Award

This campaigner is involved in Stonehaven Fairtrade Steering Group as well as with Aberdeenshire Fairtrade Steering Group. He has worked through challenging times and he consistently engages with local businesses, faith establishments and the wider community.

Stonehaven was recently awarded Fairtrade Town status again and this would not have happened without the support of our second winner.  He actively participates in online events, hosts Fairtrade stalls throughout the year in his community, reaches out to the local elected officials and shares ideas with other groups in Aberdeenshire Fairtrade zone. Peter Bellarby is the winner. Congratulations go to Peter.

The final Special Recognition Award – the winner took a chance, and this is to be celebrated.

Scottish Fair Trade Awards 2023 certificate for The Gatehouse Coffee Roasters - winner of the Special Recognition AwardThis time it’s a business – a small quality coffee roaster, based in Paisley, who supplies coffee to cafes in the Paisley and Glasgow areas. Until last year they did not roast any coffee that was fairly traded. Based upon a discussion with Rainbow Turtle, they agreed to contact the Alternative Coffee Company and start importing Cocagi coffee from Rwanda. They are now roasting fairly traded coffee from Rwanda and you can either drink their delicious coffee at the Gatehouse or buy the beans or ground coffee from them or from the Rainbow Turtle shop. This has allowed Rainbow Turtle to have a direct connection with coffee farmers in Rwanda, bringing this quality coffee to customers.

The winner is The Gatehouse Coffee Roasters. Very well done.

Thank you for supporting the Scottish Fair Trade Awards. Congratulations to all the winners, and special thanks to the sponsors – Energy Agency, Perth and Kinross Council, Scotmid, South Lanarkshire Council and WOSDEC.