Edinburgh Waking Up To Smell the Fairtrade Coffee
Edinburgh will celebrate national fair trade Fortnight (25 February - 9 March) with its annual Fairtrade breakfast later this week.
Sales in Britain of ethically sourced goods, such as fruit, tea, coffee and chocolate, carrying the Fairtrade label, have soared in recent years. In Edinburgh, the number of outlets selling Fairtrade products has increased by 58% since Edinburgh became a Fairtrade city four years ago.
The breakfast on Thursday, 28 February, will mark the success of fair trade in the city. The Edinburgh Fairtrade City steering group will be joined by Council leader
Jenny Dawe, the Lord Provost George Grubb, Councillor Lesley Hinds and guest speaker Julius Ethang ‘atha, a
Kenyan tea producer and experienced environmental activist. Julius will talk about his ‘life mission', one that encompasses fair trade goals, ‘to work
with communities in realizing a better environment where they are
economically empowered for a healthier and happier living.'
"The next fortnight is a great opportunity to raise awareness of ethical trade," said Councillor Lesley Hinds, who is Chair of Edinburgh's Fairtrade Steering Group, "the range of fair trade certified products is expanding all the time... An online directory has been produced giving a comprehensive guide to fair trade outlets in Edinburgh."
Each year during Fairtrade Fortnight the Lord Provost of Edinburgh makes awards to businesses and individuals for their contribution to Fairtrade in the following three categories:
- Best Fair Trade Youth/Education Award
- Best Fair Trade Community Award (including faith communities)
- Best Fair Trade Long Standing achievement Award
Following the presentations of the awards at the breakfast, Waverley Court will host a fair trade market and staff will be able to sample a range of fair trade products and the Mela are putting on a fashion show.
Around seven million workers and their families benefit from the fair trade movement. Although the Fairtrade Foundation says it ensures higher wages and less exploitation of workers in developing countries, critics such as free-market thinktank the Adam Smith Institute have crticised the movement as a marketing exercise which rewards a few farmers with higher prices at the expense of others.
For further information about outlets selling products in Edinburgh go to www.edinburgh.gov.uk/fairtrade