Inspiring Fair Trade Nation conference in Scotland
The invited participants from seven countries
During two days, representatives from the Scottish Fair Trade Forum invited to discuss regional and national Fair Trade Campaigns. Wales got a Fair Trade Nation-status 2008 and Scotland 2013. See the film when Wales celebrated 5 years as a Fair Trade Nation.
Seven countries participating
Meeting in Glasgow were delegates from – in addition to Wales and Scotland - Fairtrade Sweden, Fairtrade Canada, British Fairtrade Foundation, Polish Fair Trade Association and WFTO, International Fair Trade Towns Steering Committee and representatives from Fair Trade Towns Campaigns in Northern Ireland and the Netherlands.
Other countries have also shown interest for Fair Trade Nation Campaigns and the issue were discussed during the international Fair Trade Towns Conference in Lebanon in July 2016. It will definitely be discussed further at the next international Fair Trade Town Conference in Saarbrüchen, Germany in September 2017.
During the conference different issues were discussed, such as
· The value of becoming a Fair Trade Nation or Region
· The use of developing common criteria for Fair Trade Nation- or Region
· How networking could strengthen sharing practice
· Communication issues and sharing recourses
We all agreed that there are a lot of added values within the Fair Trade Nation and Region statuses and the main purpose with a Fair Trade Nation or Region Campaign is to increase real impact, with real products to real producers.
Advantages and challenges
There is both advantages and challenges in running a common campaign. Today there are different geographic region areas as Fair Trade Counties, Zones and Provinces to mention a few examples.
Sweden shared some experiences about the ongoing process of becoming a pioneer country for Fair Trade. Wales and Scotland shared their experiences and made it clear that the campaigns are journeys, not destinations. The campaigns can therefor itself be used as a tool towards the Goals of Sustainability Development 2030.
Information from the meeting will be sent to all national coordinators from Martin Rhodes, the Director of Scottish Fair Trade Forum and the national Co-ordinator for Fair Trade Wales, Elen Jones through the International Fair Trade Steering Committee within a short period of time.
Thank you all for an inspiring and lovely conference and I’m convinced that we all are looking forward to hear from you again!
Catja Kaloudis, Fairtrade Sweden
International Fair Trade Town Steering Committee