Glasgow hosts Fair Trade Nations event

Dan Omondi Odida, keynote speaker at the conference
Dan Omondi Odida, keynote speaker at the conference

Fair Trade fever hit Glasgow last weekend with Fair Traders from across the world gathering on the city.

The Scottish Fair Trade Forum hosted representatives from Fair Trade organisations in Wales, Northern Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Poland and Canada at a special, first of its kind seminar which aims to develop the Fair Trade Nations and Regions concept globally.

In 2013, Scotland became the second nation in the world, after Wales, to achieve Fair Trade Nation status. The accolade was awarded after a campaign by activists, community groups, universities, schools and organisations who worked to fulfil criteria drawn up jointly by the Scottish Government and the Welsh Assembly Government in 2006.

Colleen Tait, Community Engagement Officer at the Scottish Fair Trade Forum said: “We were very excited to have hosted this international seminar to share Scotland’s story of becoming a Fair Trade Nation. Being the second nation in the world to achieve Fair Trade Nation Status is something that we should all be immensely proud of. Holding this accolade demonstrates that there is significant interest in and awareness of Fair Trade in Scotland, and we as a nation support fair wages and decent living conditions for the people who grow our food and make our products.”

The international guest line-up at the conference was headed by Dan Omondi Odida, General Secretary of Micodepro, a gold mining co-operative working towards certification, in Kenya. Dan visited Glasgow as part of a UK-wide campaign by the Fairtrade Foundation to boost awareness of Fairtrade Gold and encourage people to ask their high street retailers to stock it. Dan explained how the tiny specks of precious gold help keep his community above the poverty breadline in his village.