PUPILS at Riverside Primary School have helped launch Fairtrade Fortnight by visiting a Stirling store dedicated to ethical and sustainable goods.

Fairtrade Fortnight 2019 will run until Sunday, March 10, and this year’s theme, She Deserves a Living Income, highlights the key role women in developing countries play in building their families and communities with support from fair trade.

Stirling Council first passed a motion in support of Fairtrade in March 2004 and this, combined with the work of the local Fairtrade Group, led to the award of Fairtrade City Status.

In October 2012 the Council expanded their support to help the local Fairtrade Group achieve Fairtrade Zone status for the whole Council area. Fairtrade Zone signs have recently been erected at various locations around the city as part of a two-year action plan to maintain Fairtrade status.

A number of events are planned over the next two weeks, including a Ceilidh, Ethical Fashion Show and public talk from two Fairtrade producers. An information brochure, titled A Celebration of Fairtrade Products, will also be launched, both online and as a hard copy, providing the names of retailers who sell Fairtrade products throughout Forth Valley.

Cllr Alasdair Tollemache, Stirling Council's fairtrade councillor, said: “By supporting Fairtrade Fortnight Stirling Council aims to raise public awareness in the city and to contribute to the council’s strategy of promoting equality and sustainable development.

“We want to encourage individuals and organisations in Stirling and further afield to support Fairtrade farmers by buying Fairtrade products. It was fantastic to see the Riverside pupils be so enthusiastic to learn about fair trade and how buying such products can help alleviate poverty in developing countries.”

As well as visiting Stirling’s Calluna store in Murray Place, the Fairtrade Committee from Riverside Primary are hosting a Fair Trade coffee morning and holding a poster design competition to promote the importance of buying Fair Trade - the winner of which will be displayed in Calluna.

Beth Livingstone, Riverside PS' fairtrade teacher, said: “The children really enjoyed their visit to Calluna where they learned a lot about the reasons behind why Fair Trade products are so vital. It was extremely beneficial for us as we look to move from being a FairActive school to being awarded FairAchiever school status, which is the best Fairtrade award you can get.”

Co-ordinator of Fairtrade Stirling, John Cape, added: “Fairtrade Stirling is delighted to be working with Stirling Council to promote fair trade. We have built close links with rice farmers in Malawi. As climate change has led to lower rainfall, irrigation has become a top priority. Last year we worked with the farmers to provide a newsolar-poweredd water pump but they need many more and our fundraising continues this year.”

Fairtrade Fortnight Events:

  • Riverside Primary are hosting a tea, coffee and scones morning, with all goods made using Fairtrade ingredients. Riverside Primary Community Library - Tuesday 5th March at 9.30-10.30am.
  • Public talk - you can hear the stories of two Fair Trade producers first hand at Stirling Methodist Church, Queen Street - Tuesday 5th March at 7.30pm.
  • Ceilidh with the Riverside Ceilidh Band at Bridge of Allan Parish Church Hall. Tickets are available at www.ticketsource.co.uk/fair-trade-stirling or by calling 07577 564 092 - Saturday 9th March at 7.30pm.

Fair Trade Stirling are seeking new volunteers and more info can be found at fairtradestirling.org or by calling Jon Cape on 07577 564 092.

The A Celebration of Fairtrade Products leaflet is available online at bit.ly/FairtradeLeaflet