Communities in South Ayrshire are celebrating after securing national Fairtrade Zone status from the Fairtrade Foundation. Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world.
South Ayrshire Council has supported the Fairtrade movement since 2004 and currently has three Fairtrade towns (Ayr was awarded Fairtrade town status in 2007; Troon in 2010; and Prestwick in 2011). The Council works in partnership with flagship employers The Energy Agency and the local Fairtrade groups to promote the campaign to the community.
Alongside the promotion of Fairtrade goods in Council buildings, 29 retailers and 19 catering outlets support the movement in South Ayrshire, exceeding national targets. Six schools have achieved Fairtrade status while another 30 have expressed an interest in achieving this in future. Fairtrade has been a central theme of the Provost's School Footprint Challenge which promotes sustainability in all the areas secondary schools. 16 local churches also promote Fairtrade through ongoing promotions and events.
In recognition of this collective effort to promote and support Fairtrade values, South Ayrshire has now been awarded the status of Fairtrade Zone, with the development a major milestone for a campaign that dates back some 14 years.
Councillor Ian Cochrane, Portfolio Holder for the Environment said the award was well deserved, "We're committed to reducing poverty and disadvantage while promoting the local economy and securing Fairtrade Zone status sends out a clear message that we care about the way we do business.
"Work to secure this national recognition has been years in the making and it's really satisfying to know that we're getting this right and helping to deliver a fair deal for people living and working in the developing world while living by our values at home.
"The campaign is ongoing, though, and with sustainability central to the way we work we'll be looking to build on our momentum by encouraging more people to get on board to make this worthwhile campaign one that everybody lives by."
More information on South Ayrshire's Fairtrade towns can be found here.