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Stand up and dance for Fair Trade

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Renfrewshire residents are asked to don their dancing shoes for a fair trade ceilidh as part of Renfrewshire’s Fairtrade Fortnight.

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The ceilidh is to be held in honour of two fair trade producers who were due to visit Renfrewshire this week.

Saw Peter and Saw Law from the Moe Goke small farmers’ association in Myanmar, formally Burma, had their visas turned down which forced the cancellation of their visit.

The trip would have been the first time anyone from Myanmar had made an international visit on the issue of fair trade.

Local Renfrewshire Fair Trade organisation Rainbow Turtle are hosting the event on Friday 26 February, 7:30pm-11pm, taking place in St Charles’ Church Hall in Paisley.

Ceilidh band ‘The Reel Stramash’ will provide the entertainment on the night which will include a highland dance display and games.

Visiting Traidcraft representatives will also be talking about the appeal, their pioneering work in Myanmar and what donations will be used for.

Chair of the Renfrewshire Fairtrade Steering Group, Councillor Jim Sharkey, said: “I was extremely disappointed with the decision not to give visas to the two producers.

“The ceilidh shows solidarity with our partners in Myanmar and is a great start to Renfrewshire’s Fairtrade Fortnight.

“With the upcoming speakers night and Fairtrade Festival it promises to be a terrific fortnight in which we hope to extend the message of fair trade across Renfrewshire.

“The event will be a great occasion and I encourage you to attend and show your support for fair trade.”

Liz Cotton, Rainbow Turtle Director, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to hear directly from people at the cutting edge of pioneering Fair Trade work whilst not forgetting our friends in Myanmar who cannot be with us.

“We aim to raise as much money as possible for Traidcraft’s work and hope to welcome Saw Peter and Saw Law later in the year to hear their story first hand”

The event takes place in advance of Fairtrade Fortnight which runs from February 29-13 March with this year’s theme based around Martin Luther King’s famous quote: “Before you finish eating your breakfast this morning you’ve depended on half the world”.

Tickets are priced at £10 (children £4) and are available from the Rainbow Turtle shop in Paisley, by calling 0141 887 1881 or on the door on the night. Visit www.rainbowturtle.org.uk for more details.

For further information on fair trade in Renfrewshire and how to join your local group contact:fairtrade@renfrewshire.gov.uk.