Shire commits to Fairtrade

Aberdeenshire Council has moved to increase the availability of Fairtrade products to employees, school pupils and visitors to its offices.

The Sustainability Sub-Committee recently approved a new resolution on Fairtrade for the council, formalising its commitment to the principle of a fair deal for producers.

Councillors agreed the authority will give further support for the promotion of Fairtrade and widen the availability of products.

At a recent meeting, committee members were updated on Fairtrade measures in the area, including the progress achieved by towns seeking Fairtrade status.

Aberdeenshire became the 17th Fairtrade Zone in Scotland in January 2013, contributing towards the country becoming a Fairtrade nation.

An application is currently being made to renew the status, and part of this requires commitment from the council to lead the development of Fairtrade in the community.

The sub-committee also agreed further support should be provided by promoting Fairtrade and the availability of products through the council’s catering contract. The council’s caterer, Sodexo, will be asked to provide a selection of Fairtrade goods in vending machines at Council establishments and to actively promote the products.

Chair Cllr Isobel Davidson said: “As one of the area’s major employers and a large education authority, a significant amount is spent by employees, pupils and the organisation on food and drink – it’s important we use this position to try to secure a good deal for those who are less well off than us.

“Our catering contract as an organisation is substantial and we believe that by making small changes we can help overseas producers and farmers get a fair return on their hard work.

“We will see Fairtrade products served in staff canteens, at meetings, in schools and in our offices as we increase the sustainability of the council as an organisation, and help to raise the profile of Fairtrade and associated issues within the authority and in the area’s communities.”