Scotland’s bid to become a fair trade nation takes an important step forward on Saturday when the Parliament hosts the launch of the Scottish Fair Trade Forum.
The Forum will be officially launched together with the Forum’s strategy for consultation.
Around 200 delegates from organisations ranging from local authorities and NGOs to businesses and academia will discuss how to promote a Scotland that actively believes in trade justice and fair labour standards in countries across the world.
The Scottish Parliament’s Presiding Officer Alex Fergusson MSP, who will be chairing the event, said:
"As an inclusive Parliament, which firmly believes in building a sustainable future for Scotland through engagement with its people, we are particularly encouraged by the creation of the Scottish Fair Trade Forum.
"Fair trade goes a long way in the campaign to make poverty history. We now live in a world where the gap between the rich and the poor has never been wider. Fair trade is one positive step forward in correcting that injustice.
"It is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world.”
The Scottish Parliament has been a venue for several international forums that have debated the key challenges facing the developing world, including fair trade.
The Parliament also promotes Fair Trade Fortnight each year and is continually looking to expand the range of fair trade products available in the Parliament and at Parliamentary events.
The Forum was announced at a fair trade conference in Perth in January 2007, which in turn followed the announcement by the then First Minister Jack McConnell of a joint initiative by Scotland and Wales to become the world’s first fair trade nations in July 2006.