Martin Rhodes, Chief Executive, Scottish Fair Trade Forum

Now more than ever perhaps, we see the need for global action for global change. As Scotland’s Fair Trade network, the Scottish Fair Trade Forum is proud to be a member of the global network for change in trade, the World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO).

On World Fair Trade Day we celebrate the resilience, innovation and commitment of Fair Trade enterprises and supporters around the world. Fair Trade enterprises offer solutions to the world’s economic and environmental challenges. This year, Hand Up Events is organising a concert at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh to celebrate World Fair Trade Day – get more details here.

This World Fair Trade Day, we celebrate and promote the solutions that are offered by Fair Trade and cooperative enterprises and we join the call for trade and business to be carried out globally in ways that support people and planet. Join the celebration, look out for products with the WFTO Product Label, join the social media campaign action.

The Scottish Fair Trade Forum became a member of the WFTO to play a more active part in the collaborative global Fair Trade network. Here in Scotland, there are two other members of the WFTO, Fair Trade Scotland and JTS – Just Trading Scotland. Also we are currently collaborating with WFTO to support three other businesses in Scotland to apply for membership. To be accepted for membership of the WFTO, applicants need to show how they are applying the 10 Principles of Fair Trade in all they do.

The 10 Principles of Fair Trade require Fair Trade practices; paying a fair price; and promoting Fair Trade. The Principles also require members to support the creation of opportunities for disadvantaged producers; capacity building; transparency and accountability; good working conditions; no child or forced labour; non-discrimination and a commitment to promote gender equity and women’s empowerment. The Principles also require respect for the environment – so urgently needed as we face the climate emergency. These principles put people and planet at the centre of business and trade. The adoption of these principles across all business and trade has never been more needed than now.

The Fair Trade movement is global and empowers all of us to make a difference and to challenge the failed orthodoxies of trade. Change can happen and our voices and actions can help to make change happen and for it to grow. The small actions of many can make a big difference. The quiet but determined voices of many will together make a noise that will be heard.

This World Fair Trade Day let’s celebrate and collaborate and let’s renew our commitment to change business and trade in the interest of people and planet.