Fairtrade in Bathgate
Bathgate Fairtrade Town Steering group celebrated its first anniversary of becoming of achieving Fairtrade status on 4 July 2012. West Lothian has four Fairtrade Towns Bathgate, Linlithgow, Livingston and Whitburn and one Fairtrade Village, Uphall. West Lothian achieved Fairtrade Zone status in August and it is hoped that Scotland will be a Fairtrade Nation sometime soon.
Bathgate Fairtrade Town Steering Group continues to promote fairtrade in the town the group participated in the Party in the Park on Sunday 9 September in Kirkton Park. The rain stayed off and about 2,500 people enjoyed the event. Various food and craft items from many poor communities worldwide were available for sale. Supporting themselves in this way is life-changing for the producers who are given the dignity of jobs rather than relying on charity.
Bathgate Fairtrade Town Steering Group is holding a stall in the Partnership Centre on the morning of the 11th May for World Fairtrade Day - everyone is welcome to stop and say hello.
A certain number of businesses in Bathgate already use or sell Fairtrade products and the Fairtrade Group would like that to grow. There has been a rapid increase in the number and variety of Fairtrade products available since the beginning of Fairtrade - chocolate, coffee and tea were the first - the quality is excellent.
Several churches are getting ready to fill in applications to be Fairtrade the EU URC, St Columba's Episcopal and Boghall Parish already have Fairtrade Church status. It is hoped that more of the schools will work towards status. Bathgate Academy and Boghall Primary School are already Fairtrade. It is good to see the enthusiasm of children for Fairtrade having learned about it in school and we hope they can educate their parents about the need for Fairtrade.
To become a FT Town, we had to tackle five goals:
- The local council must pass a resolution supporting Fairtrade.
- A local Fairtrade steering group must be convened.
- A range of Fairtrade products must be available in shops and catering establishments.
- Fairtrade products must be used by a number of local businesses and organisations.
- The steering group must attract media coverage and popular support for the campaign.