Orkney Renews Fairtrade Zone Status
Orkney Fair Trade Group is celebrating the county’s renewed accreditation as a Fairtrade Zone – a region where Fairtrade is widely sold, promoted, supported and understood.
Thanks to the initiative and energy of Orkney’s businesses, festivals, schools, churches and community groups, and the backing of Orkney Islands Council, Orkney Fair Trade Group was able to demonstrate to the Fairtrade Foundation a high level of commitment and progress, and a robust action plan for the future.
In its feedback letter to Group Chair, Gill Smee, the Foundation, which runs the accreditation scheme, particularly commended the engagement of Orkney Islands Council and its joint initiatives with the group, including last year’s Fairtrade Fortnight Members’ Breakfast and this year’s cathedral lighting and promotional mugs sales. Other highlights in the Group’s report for the past two years included Westray Chutney’s accreditation as a Fairtrade product, a Scottish Youth Theatre schools’ drama project themed on Fairtrade, highly popular schools’ visits by Fairtrade producers, “fantastic” media and public information activities, and an “active and diverse” steering group.
Adam Gardner, Communities Campaigns Manager at the Fairtrade Foundation, said: “We’re very pleased that Orkney has renewed its Fairtrade 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.”
The Fairtrade effort in Orkney is aimed at encouraging people to ‘buy fair and buy local’ - food produced in the county and fairly traded goods from overseas.
Orkney Islands Council Convener, Cllr. Harvey Johnston, congratulated the Orkney Fair Trade Group team and all the local businesses, congregations, teachers and dedicated individuals who have helped make the scheme such a success here.
He said “We’re very proud of all that has been enjoyed and achieved over the past two years and the reputation Orkney has built up for showcasing and promoting international Fairtrade alongside our own very high quality local goods. This is a place where we know and care where all our food comes from and how it’s produced and sold, and believe in supporting farming communities and small businesses at home and abroad.”
Gill Smee thanked the Council for its support, and all the many people who’ve participated in different ways in the campaign for their help and encouragement.