Renfrewshire Council has become the first local authority in Scotland to recognise the new International Fair Trade Charter.
The charter lays out the purpose and aims of fair trade as agreed by the two largest global fair trade organisations, the World Fair Trade Organisation and Fairtrade International.
The new document lays out the unique approach, achievements and impacts of fair trade and illustrates how inclusive economic growth, fair wages and better working conditions can be achieved while empowering women and ensuring opportunities for the next generation.
Enrich Sahan, Chief Executive of the World Fair Trade Organization said, “I am pleased to see Renfrewshire Council being the first local authority in Scotland to recognise the International Fair Trade Charter, a document that enshrines the common vision and fundamental values of the Fair Trade movement to put us on the path to realising the Sustainable Development Goals.”
Adopting the charter is a commitment by the council to support the fair trade movement as it works to transform trade in order to achieve justice, equity and sustainability for people and planet
Michael Gidney, Chief Executive of the Fairtrade Foundation said, “Local government has supported Fair Trade in Scotland for a long time and Renfrewshire Council’s endorsement of the Charter is an excellent example of that commitment.
“The Charter is a timely and important reminder of the need for Fair Trade. Global trade has grown spectacularly in recent decades but the gains have not been shared evenly and 800 million people around the world still live in extreme poverty.”
The new charter was approved at the meeting of the full Council on 28 February 2019 following the agreement of the of the Renfrewshire Fair Trade Steering Group.
Councillor Iain Nicolson, Renfrewshire Council Leader said: “We are delighted to lead the way nationally by being the first local authority to recognise the International Fair Trade Charter.
“The charter sets out the values of fair trade and aims to provide people with a fair deal, protect our planet and provide a basis for sustainable development throughout the world.
“We’re committed to continuing to support fair trade in Renfrewshire and we were happy to recognise this new charter as our base for supporting fair trade moving forward.”
The council worked closely with the Scottish Fair Trade Forum to inform the steering group members about the charter and its benefits, which in turn led to its adoption by the local authority.
Charles Sim, Scottish Fair Trade Forum Vice-Chair, said: “We commend Renfrewshire Council for leading the way by pledging to recognise the Fair Trade Charter and showing its continued support for Fair Trade movement.
“We hope this good example will encourage others to follow suit as the support of local authorities is essential to achieve the ambitious goals of the fair trade movement.
“Recognition of the charter can be a crucial contribution on our way to a future where trade is fair and consumers get a good deal at no cost of the quality of life of producers.”