Peterhead’s Fairtrade committee is gearing up for another exciting year after renewing the town’s Fairtrade status.
The group recently celebrated world-wide Fairtrade fortnight with events and activities including the visit of a smoothie-making bike to the Apex Centre.
The groups involved in the Apex Centre day included the 5th Peterhead Guide Company, the Girl’s Brigade, the Sea Cadets, the Apex Church Mega Kids, Methodist Chuch Boys Brigade and Anchor Boys.
Now members of the committee have given the Buchanie an exclusive tour of the town to trumpet the area’s campaign credentials.
Liz Strachan from the committee said: “We need to promote the people and shops who are selling Fairtrade.
“They deserve acknowledgement.
“What our group is trying to do is raise awareness.”
Ms Strachan was joined by SNP councillor for Peterhead North and Rattray Anne Allan, who is also a member of the committee, in showing the Buchanie around the town.
A whole host of retailers and eateries offer Fairtrade options, including the Albert Hotel, Symposium cafe, Lidl supermarket and the Nisa and Co-Operative stores at Clerkhill.
More and more people are choosing to buy Fairtrade - one in every three bananas sold in the UK if Fairtrade, as are 25 percent of roast and ground retail coffee and 44 percent of bagged sugar.
Other popular choices include chocolate, fruit, wine and cotton.
To maintain the town’s status as a Fairtrade town, members of the committee have been tirelessly working to fufil five goals.
Firstly a member of the local authority should play a role in the initiative, in Peterhead’s case this is Conservative Central Buchan councillor Edie Chapman.
Since the committee was formed they have urged council members to use Fairtrade products and this will be factored into the new council HQ in the town.
The committee also needs to push to gow the number of outlets which offer Fairtrade, as well as raising awareness in organistions such as schools and churchs.
Cllr Allan said: “Mintlaw Academy runs a Fairtrade tuck shop and a lot of other schools are doing Fairtrade assemblies.
“The youngsters involved in promoting Fairtrade need recognition too.”
There are now a total of 878 Fairtrade Schools across the UK and campaigners are working to raise that number.
Going forward, the committee are looking to publish a cookbook combining the best of Fairtrade and local produce.
Cllr Allan said a criticism that is often leveled at the Fairtrade campaign is that it takes business away from local farmers.
She stressed this is not the case: “We want to show that the two can compliment each other and that there doesn’t have to be a choice between buying Fairtrade and buying locally farmed food.”
Ms Strachan added: “If we could grow coffee, bananas and tea we wouldn’t need Fairtrade but we can’t and baking a beautiful cake wouldn’t be possible without buying produce from overseas.
“If we’re buying from abroad, why not buy Fairtrade?”