FAIRTRADE fortnight has begun and Arbroath is doing its bit in a bid to become a Fairtrade town.
Cabinet minister Fiona Hyslop says Scotland is on course to becoming a Fairtrade Nation later this year and Arbroath is one of the 62 towns which now have a steering group locally called Arbroath Fairtrade Action Group.
Leaders of the Arbroath Fairtrade group, Mary Reid and Patricia Miller, have been taking steps around the town to promote Fairtrade.
The group has produced a ‘Statement of Support’ to promote the use of Fairtrade products in Arbroath to be signed to show a business or organisation supports Fairtrade products.
Three catering outlets have signed up and one club. There is already a bed and breakfast and a hairdressing business that serve Fairtrade tea and coffee to their clients and several of supermarkets have signed up with more businesses in the pipeline.
Last Sunday St Thomas Church had a Fairtrade stall after Mass and last Thursday, Arbroath High School had the speaker Masauko Khembo of Kasinthula Cane Growers in Malawi.
The Kasinthula Cane Growers smallholders’ project is located in the south of Malawi, one of the poorest countries in southern Africa. Long droughts result in famine and the yearly rains bring floods. Many of the people work on sugar plantations. Fairtrade sugar is available in local supermarkets.
A Fairtrade coffee morning was held at St Andrew’s Church on Saturday for which local shops provided food and photographs of the Fairtrade products they have on sale.
On Saturday afternoon, Arbroath Football Club gave its support to Arbroath Action Group’s work and sold Fairtrade tea and coffee at the game against East Fife at Gayfield.