Promoting awareness of Fairtrade continues to be a priority for South Ayrshire Council. To mark the commitment of residents and business who are working with the Council, and to thank those who sell Fairtrade products locally, Provost Winifred Sloan hosted a civic reception in the County Buildings.
Thanks to the hard work of the Ayr Fairtrade Partnership, Ayr became a Fair Trade town in 2007. The Partnership is made up of local people who support the initiative, most are related to Ayr Churches.
The reception was an opportunity for those attending to sample a range of Fairtrade products, particularly branded goods who are now supporting Fairtrade and to network with likeminded people.
Provost Winifred Sloan said: “It’s more than five years ago now since South Ayrshire Council first committed to actively supporting and promoting Fairtrade, and it’s easy to see what has been achieved in that time.
“Three years ago Ayr achieved Fairtrade town status. This was only managed thanks to the efforts of everyone involved with the Ayr Fairtrade Partnership. And of course, Troon achieved the same status only earlier this month, which is another great achievement.
“The other big change is the volume of Fairtrade products now available in our town. It’s quite incredible to see the list of businesses and organisations in Ayr who use Fairtrade products.
“Across the Council, we certainly do what we can. The tea, coffee and sugar we serve in County Buildings are all Fairtrade products, many of our schools serve Fairtrade apple and orange juice, and our pupils are learning about what Fairtrade really means.
“We talk about Fairtrade in terms of the products we buy, but what really matters is the difference it makes for the people who make these products.
“By supporting their produce and paying a fair price for it, we help them get a fair wage for a fair day’s work. And this is what it’s all about – the farmers, the families, the young and the old. Through buying Fairtrade goods, we can help them achieve many of the things we take for granted like clean water, education and healthcare. That’s life-changing.”
During Fairtrade Fortnight this year, which runs from 22 February 2010 to 7 March 2010, people are being encouraged to take part in two challenges and experience Fairtrade products.
The first is ‘The Big Brew’, this involves people buying Fairtrade tea, making a brew and inviting colleagues or friends to join them. The second is ‘The Big Swap’ which simply involves replacing items in your shopping basket which are not Fairtrade with items which are.
A free guide to Fairtrade shopping in Ayr can be obtained from libraries and many other public buildings alternatively log onto the Partnership website at www.ayrfairtrade.org.uk for a downloadable listing.