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Paisley Fairtrade Partnership takes runner up prize in Fairtrade Fortnight Awards 2011

Paisley Fairtrade Partnership Fairtrade award

Paisley Fairtrade Partnership takes runner up prize in Fairtrade Fortnight Awards 2011

Paisley Fairtrade Partnership has been named runner up in this year’s Fairtrade Fortnight Awards, in recognition of their Best Cotton activity.

The award, sponsored by the Co-operative Group, celebrates the achievements and creativity of Fairtrade campaigners and supporters during the annual two-week Fairtrade Fortnight campaign, this year held from 28 February – 13 March 2011.
During this time, Paisley Fairtrade Partnership  highlighted the injustices in the production of cotton by hosting a performance of a newly commissioned drama performed by the talented Paisley based Beechwood Women in Arts group called ‘Bless your cotton socks!’

This hard hitting drama drew attention to the unfair treatment of cotton workers in developing countries who are forced to work in poor conditions for poverty wages while richer countries subsidise their own cotton farmers who can then flood markets with cut price cotton goods. The drama sharply demonstrated there is no level playing field for cotton producers in poorer countries and encouraged people here in Scotland to look at their own buying habits.

Maureen Brough, chair of the Paisley Fairtrade Partnership and Margo Kirkwood from the Beechwood Women in Arts group were presented with the award and a prize by Fairtrade Foundation Executive Director Harriet Lamb, at the national Fairtrade Supporter Conference at Aston University, Birmingham, on 15 October 2011.
Maureen Brough said: “Both Paisley Fairtarde Partnership and Beechwood Women In Arts group are delighted to have received this award in recognition of the efforts to educate the people of Paisley about the unfair treatment of cotton workers.  Hopefully more people will consider carefully their purchase of cotton products in future as a result of seeing the play.”

Veronica Pasteur, competition judge and Head of Campaigns at the Fairtrade Foundation said:
‘Yet again, we were overwhelmed with more entries than ever displaying the incredible creativity, hard work and community spirit of Fairtrade campaigners across the UK. It’s not easy singling out winners from such a huge and inspiring network of activists, but the winners should feel proud that their activities are reaching more people than ever before with the Fairtrade message, and take action in their daily lives to support marginalised farmers to get a better deal, for themselves and their communities.’
Councillor Brian Lawson, chair of Renfrewshire’s Fairtrade Steering Group said: “This is a fantastic achievement and I’d like to congratulate the Paisley Fairtrade Partnership and the Beechwood Women in Arts group for their hard work.  Paisley has been a Fairtrade town since 2003 so it’s great to see continued commitment being rewarded.”

The Renfrewshire Fairtrade Steering Group  have won awards in the past for their commitment to Fairtrade Fortnight with an Outstanding Achievement award in 2008 and a runner up award the Best Outreach and Networking Campaign in 2010.

Fairtrade guarantees fair prices for third world producers and gives power back to both producers and consumers. Renfrewshire achieved Fairtrade Zone status in 2009 and the steering group continues to promote Fairtrade in the area and develop the campaign further.  To find out more about Fairtrade in Renfrewshire go towww.renfrewshire.gov.uk and look under Community and Living.