Fairtrade status extended

Local groups, including schools like Linlithgow Academy, have shown commitment to Fairtrade
Local groups, including schools like Linlithgow Academy, have shown commitment to Fairtrade

West Lothian has been declared a Fairtrade zone for another two years, jubilant members of the local steering group have announced.

The district was awarded Fairtrade zone status in recognition of the strong support for Fairtrade which is “helping to make the world a better place”.

Linlithgow was the first town in West Lothian to become a Fairtrade town – it is now one of four, alongside Livingston, Whitburn and Bathgate.

The county also has a Fairtrade village in Uphall and a mini Fairtrade zone in Fauldhouse and Breich Valley.

Together they have achieved five goals, including a wide availability of Fairtrade products in local shops and catering outlets, and high levels of support from local people, businesses, the council, faith groups and schools.

John McGinty, leader of West Lothian Council and chair of West Lothian Fairtrade steering group, said: “It is a fantastic testament to the efforts of the town and village group. I would like to thank the group for their tireless efforts to promote Fairtrade.

“I would also like to praise local people in West Lothian who are showing their support to producers and workers, and who are helping to make the world a fairer place by choosing Fairtrade products.

“The theme of our campaign this year is ‘leap into Fairtrade’ which encourages local people to choose Fairtrade products every day.

“Each year to mark Fairtrade Fortnight the steering group has encouraged the local community to be involved in different activities. Adam Gardner, communities campaigns manager at the Fairtrade Foundation, said: “We’re so pleased that West Lothian has renewed its Fairtrade zone status and laid out clear exciting goals to take Fairtrade further.

“Thanks to the ongoing support of the public and campaigners, an increasing number of farmers in developing countries are now selling their products on Fairtrade terms, bringing them a stable income and the chance to trade their way out of poverty.”

Fairtrade helps small-scale farmers ensure they earn stable incomes and have long-term contracts with companies. In addition, they earn the Fairtrade Premium which they invest as the farmer-owned co-operative chooses, in projects to benefit their business or community.

For more information and how to get involved visit: www.westlothian.gov.uk/fairtrade or email: douglas.grierson@westlothian.gov.uk.