WEST Lothian Fairtrade Steering Group is backing this year’s Fairtrade Fortnight.
Fairtrade Fortnight runs from February 28 until March 13 and is the Fairtrade Foundation’s annual awareness-raising campaign to promote the difference that Fairtrade makes to millions of people in developing countries.
It is also when businesses, Fairtrade supporters and stakeholders come together to organise thousands of events around the country to get people buying and understanding the impact of Fairtrade and the global need for fairer trade.
A flurry of events and activities are being organised across West Lothian to promote Fairtrade in shops, schools and workplaces.
Leader of West Lothian Council and chair of the Steering Group Councillor Peter Johnston said: “West Lothian Fairtrade Steering Group’s ambition is to raise awareness of Fairtrade for both consumers and traders.
“Fairtrade Fortnight will be a focus for the group to encourage people to find out more about the concept of Fairtrade and the wealth of products that are available.”
West Lothian Fairtrade Zone Steering Group Partners are: West Lothian Council, Linlithgow Fairtrade Town Group, Livingston Fairtrade Town Group, Whitburn Fairtrade Town Group, Uphall Fairtrade Town Group, Bathgate, Breich Valley, West Lothian College, West Lothian Chamber of Commerce, Voluntary Sector Gateway West Lothian, NHS Lothian, The Centre, Livingston and West Lothian Leisure.
West Lothian has three Fairtrade Towns in Linlithgow, Livingston and Whitburn.
They also have one Fairtrade Village in Uphall.
The council has supported each West Lothian Fairtrade group through the process of both gaining their Fairtrade status, and maintaining it once it has been achieved.
In 2010, West Lothian Council agreed to develop its support by aiming to achieve Fairtrade Zone status for the county as part of Scotland’s aim of becoming a Fairtrade Nation. There are also two new groups in Bathgate and Breich Valley who are aiming to achieve their own recognition.
Andy Mount from Livingston Fairtrade Town Group explained: “We hope that the whole of West Lothian will use Fairtrade Week to try a Fairtrade Product, whether it is buying clothes, foods or other goods, and learn more about the people that are producing them for us.
“A number of events will be taking place across West Lothian which will be promoted over the next few weeks.”
Anyone wishing to get involve in a Fairtrade Town Group can e-mail Douglas.firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.westlothian.gov.uk/fairtrade for more information.