Monday February 27 marked the start of Fairtrade Fortnight and a steering group has been set up to see if Stonehaven can become a Fairtrade Town.
This consists of representatives from a wide cross-section of the community, including schools, churches, the business community, Stonehaven and District Community Council, Stonehaven Town Partnership and local councillors Peter Bellarby and Graeme Clark.
The group is planning events during Fairtrade Fortnight, which runs from February 27 to March 11.
A Fairtrade stall will be at the farmer’s market on March 3, and a Fairtrade sugar cane producer, Masauko Khembo will be visiting Mackie Academy on Tuesday March 6.
There will also be a public event with Mr. Khembo at 7.30pm in the Invercarron Resource Centre, as well as events in local churches.
To achieve Fairtrade status for Stonehaven, various goals have to be met.
The first is that the local Council has to pass a resolution supporting Fairtrade and agrees to serve Fairtrade products at it’s meetings and offices.
The council’s Sustainability Sub-committee has already, in 2009, passed a resolution in support of Fairtrade. Once progress has been made in meeting the other goals, the steering group intends to ask the council to put a proposal to the Kincardine and Mearns Area Committee asking it to support the move for Stonehaven to become a Fairtrade town. Support will also be sought from Stonehaven and District Community Council, and Stonehaven Town Partnership.
Another goal is that a range of Fairtrade products have to be readily available in the town’s shops and served in local cafes and catering establishments.
The steering group will be carrying out a survey to find out exactly what the situation is, but it is clear that quite a few places already deal with Fairtrade products.
Fairtrade products need to be used by an appropriate number of local work places, schools, churches and other community groups. There are already Fairtrade schools and Fairtrade churches in Stonehaven so this goal should not be difficult to meet.
The aim of the Fairtrade campaign is to promote fairness and stability to producers in developing countries. The steering group would like to feel that Stonehaven could support that movement”