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Last Updated: Saturday, 27 October 2007, 11:50 GMT 12:50 UK
Fair trade nation plan launched
Coffee beans
The forum will run campaigns to promote fairly traded goods
Scotland's Fair Trade Forum has been launched at the Scottish Parliament.

More than 200 local authority and aid agency delegates will come together to plan how to make Scotland a fair trade nation.

The move is part of a joint initiative with Wales to become the world's first self-declared fair trade nations.

The forum, which has representatives from education and retail, will be running campaigns to promote fair trade goods like tea and coffee.

The new organisation has been given a grant of 40,000 to begin its work.

Minimum price

The former First Minister Jack McConnell first suggested that Scotland and Wales should become fair trade nations in July 2006, and the plan won the support of the new SNP administration.

The external affairs minister, Linda Fabiani, told the group it was unacceptable that millions of people are forced to live in poverty because the rules of world trade are skewed in favour of the developed countries.

Fair trade guarantees set minimum price to farmers for their products, which covers the cost of sustainable production and adds a premium to be spent on social or economic projects.

In 1994 there were just three fair trade products on the market.

Now there are more than 2,000 - including bananas and chocolate - on sale in Scottish shops and supermarkets.

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09 Mar 06 |  Scotland

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