>> 23 February 2010

Gordon MSP Alex Salmond and SNP Gordon Westminster Candidate, Richard Thomson, have welcomed the start of ‘Fairtrade Fortnight 2010’ by highlighting Scotland’s ambition to become one of the world’s first Fairtrade nations.
The Scottish Government has also lent its support to the fortnight. External Affairs Minister Fiona Hyslop will promote awareness of the Fair Trade Nation programme, and will be meeting a Palestinian Fairtrade olive oil producer and speaking at the opening of the Fair Trade Experience in Glasgow.

Mr Salmond said

“Six of Scotland's cities are now Fairtrade cities and 31 towns across the country are Fairtrade towns. However, Fairtrade Fortnight provides an excellent platform to raise everyone’s awareness that by choosing to buy Fairtrade products, they can make a big contribution elsewhere.”

Mr Thomson said:

"Fairtrade is about creating opportunities for producers in the developing world to receive a fair price for their goods and improve their quality of life. As a responsible nation, Scotland can help alleviate poverty in the most disadvantaged areas of the world and I’m pleased that the communities of Gordon have been at the forefront of that through their support for Fairtrade."

Fairtrade Fortnight runs from February 22 until March 7, 2010. It is an annual campaign where events are held across the country celebrating and highlighting products carrying the Fairtrade Mark. The theme for this year is "The Big Swap", which is encouraging people to swap their usual purchases for Fairtrade products.

The Fair Trade Experience is at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on Saturday February 27 and Sunday February 28.

The first country to become a Fair Trade Nation was Wales on June 6, 2008.

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