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Published 23 March 2018

West Dunbartonshire has been awarded Fairtrade status for a further two years as a result of its commitment to Fairtrade principles.

The area has officially been a Fairtrade Zone since 2014 after committing to actively promote Fairtrade to consumers, businesses and community groups in the area.

As part of the campaign, retailers have pledged to sell more than four Fairtrade products and eateries have served Fairtrade tea and coffee. The campaign also secured support from faith groups, schools and voluntary groups, as well as lobbying businesses to promote the Fairtrade message in their working practices.  The local networking group is now a member of Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce, opening up new opportunities to spread the Fairtrade message.

Councillor Iain McLaren, Convener of Infrastructure, Regeneration & Economic Development, said: “I am delighted that the West Dunbartonshire has been awarded a continuation of its Fairtrade status. It’s a great reward for the efforts our staff, volunteers and local businesses have gone to in promoting the Fairtrade message. We remain committed to being a Fairtrade zone and ensuring that farmers and workers around the world are paid a fair price for their work.”

Councillor Diane Docherty, Vice Convener of Infrastructure, Regeneration & Economic Development, added: “The local businesses who have supported the Fairtrade movement in West Dunbartonshire deserve huge praise for their efforts. Thanks to everyone who stocks Fairtrade goods and to everyone who buys them. It really does make a difference.”

Fairtrade helps small-scale farmers ensure they earn decent incomes and have long-term contracts with companies. In addition, they earn the Fairtrade Premium, which they invest in vital business, social and environmental projects.

Adam Gardner, Communities Campaigns Manager at the Fairtrade Foundation, said: “We are delighted to continue to have West Dunbartonshire in the Fairtrade movement which now boasts more than 1,900 communities worldwide, taking practical steps to making a fairer world trade system a reality. Thanks to the 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. Today, more than 1.6 million farmers and workers across 74 developing countries benefit from the international Fairtrade system, but there is still a long way to go.”

Towns, cities, boroughs, villages, islands, counties and zones can apply for the Fairtrade Town status and join the movement towards a fairer world trade system. Areas that apply for Fairtrade status must meet five criteria:

  • Local Council passes a resolution supporting Fairtrade, and agrees to serve Fairtrade tea and coffee Fairtrade at its meetings and canteens.
  • At least four Fairtrade products can be purchased in the area's local shops and eateries. 
  • Fairtrade is effectively promoted to local businesses and community organisations.
  • Attracting media coverage and popular support for the campaign.
  • A local Steering Group must be established to ensure continued commitment to its Fairtrade Town status.