Posts

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Bridge of Weir Primary wins Renfrewshire’s Fairtrade school award

fairtrade

Pupils at Bridge of Weir Primary School were thrilled to learn they have been crowned Renfrewshire’s leading Fairtrade primary school.

The primary school was awarded the John McDowell Trophy for their outstanding contribution to the campaign during 2014/2015 and for successfully renewing its status as a Fairtrade School.

The trophy was presented to the pupils from the Bridge of Weir Fairtrade Committee by former Provost John McDowell, who was heavily involved with the promotion of Fairtrade during his time as a councillor.

fairtrade

Accompanied by Councillor Jim Sharkey, Chair of the Renfrewshire Fairtrade Steering Group, the pair thanked pupils for their contribution to Renfrewshire’s ongoing Fairtrade campaign.

Fairtrade helps to improve the lives of producers in developing countries by guaranteeing them a fair price for their goods, such as nuts, cocoa and rice.

Councillor Sharkey said: “Bridge of Weir was the obvious choice when it came to awarding this year’s trophy

“I’ve been really impressed by the support Bridge of Weir have given Fairtrade throughout the year, as well as the range of innovative activities they had during Fairtrade Fortnight.

“They set up a Fairtrade stall, which was supplied by Rainbow Turtle, and hosted a ‘Wear banana yellow to school’ day, where pupils wore yellow to highlight the fact only 1 in 4 bananas sold are Fairtrade.

“Helping school children to be aware of how Fairtrade impacts millions of people across the world is a great way for them to learn about global issues and how we all have a responsibility to help where we can”.

Bridge of Weir is the fourth school to receive the trophy, which was won by St Fillans Primary in Houston in 2013, Newmains Primary in Renfrew in 2012 and Clippens Primary in Linwood in 2011.

John McDowell said: “The trophy was introduced to encourage primary pupils to get involved with Fairtrade. It’s been a great way to both help those who are affected by Fairtrade, as well as encouraging pupils to come up with new ways to raise awareness of Fairtrade.”

Bridge of Weir’s Head Teacher, Carol Vallance added: “Our pupils have been really committed to raising awareness of Fairtrade and it’s been great for them to learn all about the different issues that affect others in poorer countries.

“Our choir also sang at the Community One World Fairtrade event in November which was a fantastic experience for them.”

“Another big event for us was our Fairtrade Bake Off, where pupils swapped as many ingredients as possible for Fairtrade products. It really helped raise awareness of how easy it is to buy Fairtrade and make a difference to someone’s life.

“Our pupils are really passionate about Fairtrade and you can see this through the hard work and enthusiasm they put into all the different activities they have organised for Fairtrade.”

For more information, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/fairtrade.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Council employees bag 90kg Fairtrade rice challenge

fairtrade rice challenge

Employees of Renfrewshire Council have sold over 100 bags of rice for a special Fairtrade challenge to help the children of Malawi.

The Kilombero rice was sold to employees by adding it to the lunchtime soup and by encouraging colleagues to buy a bag of rice to take home.

Promoted by Just Trading Scotland (JTS), the 90kg rice challenge initiative makes enough money for a Malawian farmer to send one child to high school for a year.

fairtrade rice challenge

Chair of Renfrewshire’s Fairtrade Steering Group, Councillor Jim Sharkey, said: “The 90kg rice challenge was a fun and innovative way for us to help Fairtrade and to fund a child’s education in Malawi.

“Renfrewshire Council has always been committed to supporting Fairtrade and promoting fairness and sustainability for farmers both at home and abroad.

“We work in partnership with a range of local organisations, and do our utmost to promote Fairtrade among our staff, customers and communities so that they understand the value of the campaign.

“It is great to know you are making a difference to someone’s life and we hope that we have encouraged people to be more conscious of their choices when they are shopping and choose Fairtrade.”

Just Trading Scotland Executive Board Member, Malcolm Shannon, said: “JTS are delighted that Renfrewshire council has been one of the many groups to complete the 90kg Rice Challenge. Over three tonnes of Fair Trade rice has been sold in Renfrewshire to date, which is enough to enable 30 children to receive a year’s education in Malawi.”

To find out more about the 90kg rice challenge, visit www.justtradingscotland.co.uk.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Renfrewshire gets set for fairtrade challenge

fair trade

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Employees of Renfrewshire Council are about to embark on a special fairtrade challenge to help the children of Malawi.

The 90kg rice challenge – is an initiative set up by Just Trading Scotland (JTS) to encourage local organisations to sell 90kg of Kilombero rice – enough money for a Malawian farmer to send one child to high school for a year.

fair trade

As well as the rice challenge, JTS have developed simple threshing machines for Malawian farmers.

Most of Malawi’s small farmers produce their goods using hand tools, but these new machines will allow farmers to boost production and improve the volume and quality of the rice.

Renfrewshire Council’s Leader Mark Macmillan, who chairs the Fairtrade Steering Group, got the chance to try out the machine before it is shipped off to Malawi.

“Renfrewshire Council is committed to supporting Fairtrade and promoting fairness and sustainability for farmers both at home and abroad,” said Councillor Macmillan.

“In partnership with a range of local organisations, we do our utmost to promote Fairtrade among our staff, customers and communities so that they understand the value of the campaign and the difference it makes to the lives of others so they can make informed choices about the way they shop.

“By giving farmers the world over a fairer deal, we are enabling them and their children to live fuller lives.”

Over three tonnes of fairtrade rice has been sold in Renfrewshire to date, which is enough to help over 30 children in Malawi.

To find out more about Kilombero rice call Just Trading Scotland on 0141 887 2882 or email info@jts.co.uk.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator icon=”star”][vc_column_text]

Image caption:

Back row l-r – Just Trading Scotland employees: Iain Robb, Liam McLaughlin, Maree Nicoll, Malcolm Shannon and Martin Hamilton.

Front row – Suzanne Gibb, Renfrewshire Council employee and Renfrewshire Council Leader, Mark Macmillan.

[/vc_column_text][vc_separator icon=”star”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Kilbarchan celebrates becoming a Fairtrade Village

Pic 1 - Kilbarchan Fairtrade Steering Group

Kilbarchan celebrates becoming a Fairtrade Village.

Kilbarchan is the latest community in Renfrewshire to achieve Fairtrade status.

The Fairtrade Foundation has declared Kilbarchan a ‘Fairtrade Village’ following its successful campaign to make Fairtrade part of village life.

Kilbarchan follows in the footsteps of Paisley, Bishopton, Renfrew and Lochwinnoch, which have already achieved Fairtrade Town status.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan, Chair of the Renfrewshire Fairtrade Steering Group, said: “I congratulate campaigners in Kilbarchan on this achievement. It contributes towards our share goal of being a Fairtrade Zone and gives further weight to Renfrewshire’s role in supporting Scotland as a Fair Trade nation.

“The enthusiasm and energy for Fairtrade throughout the village is impressive. The community has worked together to ensure the Fairtrade message is spread far and wide.”

Kilbarchan’s retailers, church groups, food outlets, schools and local activists have all contributed to the campaign by selling or serving Fairtrade goods or educating others about the Fairtrade movement.

Graham Batin from the Kilbarchan Fairtrade Steering Group said: “Fairtrade goods have been available and enjoyed in the village for a number of years now. The campaign has widespread spread support and it’s great to see Kilbarchan’s commitment to improving the lives of others formally recognised.

“Our organised events have helped bring us closer together as a community because everyone can get involved in Fairtrade in whichever way suits them”.

To support Kilbarchan’s bid to become a Fairtrade Village, the Steering Group organised Afternoon Tea and Scones to celebrate World Fairtrade Day and ensured the Fairtrade banana baton passed from Lochwinnoch to Bridge of Weir in last year’s Banana Relay.

Schoolchildren from Kilbarchan Primary have played their part too by signing up to Renfrewshire’s Rice Challenge helping to support Malawian rice farmers.

News of Kilbarchan’s Fairtrade status was celebrated at a Fairtrade Wine and Cheese sampling event at the Old Library. Liz Cotton, Manager of Rainbow Turtle, Renfrewshire’s only dedicated Fair Trade shop, spoke at the event of her recent visit to Nepal and first-hand experience of the positive impact of Fairtrade.

Fairtrade guarantees fair prices and conditions for third world producers and a large number of farmers say that it would be impossible to continue farming without Fairtrade.

Courtesy of Renfrewshire Council.

Firms to join up for Fairtrade contest

fairtrade

Firms to join up for Fairtrade contest

Renfrewshire businesses are being asked to show who is the fairest of them all as part of a special contest.

The council is running a Renfrewshire Fairtrade Business of the Year contest as part of the national Fairtrade Fortnight event, which runs from February 25 to March 11.

fairtradeBusinesses will be invited to demonstrate their Fairtrade credentials by showcasing their commitment to the scheme, which ensures producers in the developing world are given a fair price for their goods.

The judging panel will include Councillors Mark Macmillan and Brian Lawson, Convener and Deputy Convener of Renfrewshire’s Fairtrade Steering Group, plus representatives of Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce.

The winner will be asked to provide evidence of their commitment to Fairtrade, through their use and supply of the scheme’s products to customers, and in how they conduct their daily internal operations.

Councillor Macmillan said: “This competition is a great way of showcasing some of the work carried out by local businesses to promote the Fairtrade cause.

“Any Fairtrade products which are sold are helping to improve the lives of people on the other side of the planet.

“The more local businesses which make these products available, the greater the scope for residents to buy them.”

The Chamber of Commerce is distributing application forms (which can be completed online) among its members. They will also be made available at www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/ftbusiness2013

The closing date for entries is Monday March 11.

Fairtrade Fortnight is an annual event run by the Fairtrade Foundation, which aims to raise awareness of the scheme.

A series of events are taking place around Renfrewshire, co-ordinated by the area’s Fairtrade Steering Group, which contains representatives from the council, businesses, the education sector and other local groups.

For more info on the national campaign, visit www.fairtrade.org

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Senior diplomat welcomed for Fairtrade visit

paisley-abbey-logos

Senior diplomat welcomed for Fairtrade visit

Renfrewshire rolled out the red carpet as a senior diplomat visited the area to find out how a Paisley business is helping improve the lives of people in Africa.

Bernard Sande, Malawi’s High Commissioner to the UK, had requested to make a special visit to Fairtrade wholesaler Just Trading Scotland.

Fairtrade products are those which guarantee that producers in the developing world have been given a fair price for their goods.

Mr Sande was welcomed by Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan and Councillor Brian Lawson, the Convener and Deputy Convener of Renfrewshire’s Fairtrade Steering Group.

Fairtrade visit JTS

They were joined by directors of Just Trading Scotland and by pupils from Gryffe and Trinity High Schools for a tour of the building, before Mr Sande headed over to Paisley Abbey for a discussion on trade.

Councillor Macmillan said: “We were delighted to welcome the High Commissioner to Paisley and it is testament to the good work being carried out by Just Trading Scotland that he asked to come here to see it for himself.

“He told us about some of the issues surrounding the export of rice from Malawi, and of the impact that the Fairtrade movement has had in his home country.

“By buying fairly-traded products, residents of Renfrewshire are helping to improve living conditions for farmers in poorer parts of the world.

“People and organisations across Renfrewshire have been involved in a lot of work to help promote Fairtrade over the past few years.

“Renfrewshire achieved Fairtrade area status in 2009, and Paisley, Bishopton, Lochwinnoch and Renfrew have all become Fairtrade towns or villages.

“We look forward to continuing the campaign with a series of local events planned for Fairtrade Fortnight 2013, which takes place in February and March.”

John Riches, JTS director, said: “We were very encouraged by the enthusiasm shown by the High Commissioner for the work we are doing promoting Malawi Kilombero rice in Scotland.

“He pledged support for our plans for development among rice farmers in the north of Malawi. And he said how much he was encouraged by the support and enthusiasm of of young people in schools in Scotland. It’s all a great boost for fair trade and for the work we do at Paisley.”

Just Trading Scotland is unique within Scotland in that it imports and distributes Fairtrade goods, while helping to expand the scheme throughout Africa.

Renfrewshire Council supports JTS, which based at a warehouse at Wallneuk in Paisley, by helping to provide accommodation.

The council’s Fairtrade Steering group features representatives from the council, local schools, higher education bodies and businesses, as well as from the various Fairtrade groups set up in the area’s towns and villages.

Malawi is one of the world’s least-developed countries, where around half the population have to live on less than $1 a day, and agriculture accounts for more than a third of GDP.

For regular updates on local news and events follow @RenCouncilNews on Twitter or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/renfrewshirecouncil.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Renfrewshire Fairtrade Campaign

fair trade

Renfrewshire Fairtrade Campaign

Renfrewshire will celebrate a major milestone in its Fairtrade campaign with a weekend of events at the end of the month.

Two days of events will be held in Paisley to mark the tenth anniversary of Rainbow Turtle, Paisley-based Fair Trade charity, social enterprise and a key member of Renfrewshire’s Fairtrade Steering Group.

Over Friday 31 August and Saturday 1 September, a series of events will take place in Paisley Town Hall including the Scottish Fairtrade Forum’s national Campaign Day.

fair tradeThere will also be a business lunch, workshops for schoolchildren, a session on churches supporting Fairtrade and an evening celebration for volunteers and supporters which will feature Rainbow Turtle’s producer partners from the organisation Families Especiales (Special Families) from Nicaragua.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan, who will open the weekend of events, said: “Renfrewshire has a strong reputation for being one of the leading areas in Scotland for supporting Fairtrade. Over these two days we’ll be celebrating that, in particular by marking the 10th birthday and major contribution of one of our key Fairtrade partners and champions, Rainbow Turtle.

“As well as looking back on the achievements so far, the weekend will aim to keep pushing Fairtrade forward by reaching out to new partners and supporters from all areas of the community particularly local businesses.”

As part of the celebrations Traidcraft will be bringing their Autumn roadshow to the town hall and CEO Paul Chandler will be speaking to local business representatives at the business lunch about the benefits of involving Fairtrade in the workplace under the topic ‘How being good can be good for business’. The lunch will be made with Fairtrade ingredients by local catering company Redss.

Also on Friday 31 August, local schoolchildren have been invited to workshops which will include a talk on Fairtrade from Rainbow Turtle’s Nicaraguan producer partners Families Especiales.

Paul Chandler will also be speaking at a churches event on Saturday 1 August which will explore the role of churches in Fairtrade.

Rainbow Turtle was established in 2002 by a group concerned with the promotion and development of Fair trade. It is made up of two distinct areas of activity. Rainbow Turtle Just Trading runs the shop in Paisley town centre as well as supplying Fairtrade products to schools, workplaces and other organisations across Scotland. Rainbow Turtle Charity works in partnership with developing world producers to raise the profile of fair trade.

Liz Cotton, of Rainbow Turtle said: “When we started Rainbow Turtle 10 years ago fair trade was hardly on the spectrum. Little did we know how far things would go over the last decade. Thanks to the many volunteers, customers, schools, churches, village and town groups and the local council who not only caught the vision but also took fair trade forward  Renfrewshire  is now seen as one of the flag ship regions in the Scottish fair trade campaign. Fair trade is such a simple concept  but makes a huge difference to people on the other side of our world and is something we can all buy into. RainbowTurtle is more than just a shop, it changes lives and we need your continued support.”

To find out more details about all the events visit www.rainbowturtle.org.uk

For regular updates on local news and events follow @RenCouncilNews on Twitter or our page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/renfrewshirecouncil.

, , ,

Malawian Visitors Given Fairtrade Guide

fairtrade

Two African farmers who arrived in Scotland to spread the Fairtrade message will be heading home clutching a little bit of Renfrewshire.

Howard Chikoma Msukwa and Henry Rosturd Kalomba visited the area as part of a tour of Scotland to talk about the positive impact Fairtrade has had on their home country of Malawi.

They popped into Renfrewshire Council’s headquarters in Paisley to meet members of the area’s Fairtrade Steering Group – and were presented with copies of the Fairtrade Guide to Renfrewshire.

The guide highlights the work carried out to promote Fairtrade in Renfrewshire and contains a full list of all local outlets which stock Fairtrade products.

It was produced by the steering group, which is made of representatives from the council, businesses, schools and community groups.

Howard and Henry have been touring Scotland throughout April in partnership with the Scottish Fairtrade Forum and Just Trading Scotland, a Fairtrade wholesale company based at Wallneuk in Paisley.

A council spokesperson said: “We were delighted to welcome Howard and Henry to Renfrewshire. Meeting them and hearing at first hand about the challenges they face really brings home why the Fairtrade campaign matters.

“They talked about issues affecting them in their work as rice producers in their homeland, and in turn, heard about some of the efforts to raise awareness of Fairtrade in Renfrewshire.”

Throughout 2012, the Renfrewshire Fairtrade Steering Group is backing the ‘Take a Step for Fairtrade’ campaign, which asks people to look at the small everyday steps they can take to make a difference around the world.

To find out how you can get involved, copies of the Fairtrade Guide to Renfrewshire can be downloaded from www.renfrewshire.gov.uk

 

, , ,

Renfrewshire challenged to take a step for Fairtrade

Fairtrade Fortnight Logo 2

People of all ages across Renfrewshire are being urged to back the Fairtrade Foundation’s ‘Take a Step campaign’ by helping poverty stricken farmers and workers around the world take their own steps towards a brighter future.

The campaign is part of this year’s Fairtrade Fortnight (27th February- 11th March). As part of the campaign the Fairtrade Foundation is aiming to achieve 1.5 million steps in 2012.

The Renfrewshire Fairtrade Steering Group is backing the challenge and urging individuals and groups in the area to take steps towards Fairtrade, no matter how big or small.

A step is any action that supports Fairtrade – taking a first step could be choosing to buy a Fairtrade coffee on the way to work, or making sure the weekly shopping basket contains one or two more Fairtrade products like Fairtrade tea or bananas, or encouraging friends and family to switch to Fairtrade

Councillor Brian Lawson, chair of the steering group, has already written to all the schools in the area asking pupils and staff to take part by Pledging a Step and is urging other groups, including churches and youth groups to join in.

All the step pledges made in Renfrewshire will then be gathered together and sent off to the Fairtrade Foundation to help them achieve their target.

Councillor Lawson said: “The support for Fairtrade in Renfrewshire is constantly growing, and as a result this year’s Fairtrade Fortnight looks set to encourage even more people to step into Fairtrade.  In particular we really want Renfrewshire to back the Fairtrade Foundation’s challenge of reaching 1.5 million steps this year.”

A series of Fairtrade Fortnight events have also been lined up throughout Renfrewshire for people of all ages to get involved in.

The steps that are being taken around Renfrewshire range from coffee mornings and afternoon teas, to a Fairtrade film night and a Fairtrade Step Trail around Bridge of Weir and Houston.

As part of the campaign activities, a Fairtrade producer will visit Renfrew Town Hall to talk to Fairtrade supporters. Mrunal Lahankar, from the Chetna Organic Farmers Association (COFA), India, will be telling groups about how Fairtrade benefits the community and plays a vital role in reducing poverty and creating sustainable development.

For a full list of events running in Renfrewshire over Fairtrade Fortnight, go to www.renfrewshire.gov.uk or follow @RenCouncilNews on Twitter or our page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/renfrewshirecouncil.

, ,

Renfrewshire challenged to join Fairtrade world record attempt

fair trade

Renfrewshire challenged to join Fairtrade world record attempt

 

People of all ages across Renfrewshire are being challenged to take part in a world record bid to create the longest string of bunting.

The theme of this year’s Fairtrade Fortnight (28th February- 13th March) is ‘Show Off Your Label’ with a particular focus on Fairtrade Cotton. As part of the campaign the Fairtrade Foundation is attempting to break a world record for the longest continual piece of bunting. The aim is to tell more people about how Fairtrade cotton protects the livelihoods of cotton farmers in West Africa and India.

The Renfrewshire Fairtrade Steering Group are backing the challenge and urging individuals and groups in the area to get by designing their own bunting using the Fairtrade Foundation bunting kits.

Councillor Brian Lawson, chair of the steering group, has already written to all the schools in the area asking pupils and staff to take part and is urging other groups, including churches, youth groups and nurseries to join in.

All the bunting that is created from schools across Renfrewshire will then be gathered together and sent off to the Fairtrade Foundation by 16th April for their world record breaking attempt.

A series of Fairtrade Fortnight events are also lined up to take place throughout Renfrewshire for people of all ages to get involved in.

These include everything from a family fun day at Paisley Town Hall, to a Fairtrade wine tasting in Lochwinnoch, a performance by a local theatre group on the injustices facing Fairtrade farmers and a Fairtrade football tournament.

Councillor Lawson said: “The support for Fairtrade in Renfrewshire is constantly growing and as a result this year’s Fairtrade Fortnight looks set to be our best yet with a huge range of events offering something for everyone.

“In particular we really want Renfrewshire to back the world record attempt to create the world’s longest string of bunting. This is something you could do if you are part of a local youth or community group or maybe just as something fun to do with your friends. The aim is to raise the profile of Fairtrade which ensures that farmers and producers get a fairly paid for their work. As well as empowering producers Fairtrade also supports communities in developing countries by helping to build things like schools, roads and provide running water so this is a great way to do something fun whilst helping those in poorer countries.”
Fairtrade currently helps more than 7.5 million of the world’s most vulnerable people.

Packs of blank Fairtrade bunting are available for free from the Fairtrade Foundation for a limited number with further packs available to buy go to www.fairtradefoundation.org.uk

For a full list of events running in Renfrewshire over Fairtrade Fortnight go to www.renfrewshire.gov.uk. You can also get the latest news and information from Renfrewshire by following our Twitter feed @RenCouncilNews