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Last Updated: Sunday, 2 July 2006, 23:16 GMT 00:16 UK
Nations unite for fair trade bid
Coffee beans
Fair trade schemes agree prices with developing world farmers
Political leaders in Wales and Scotland have agreed a joint campaign to win fair trade status for their nations.

The Welsh Assembly Government and the Scottish Executive hope a united Celtic stance can gain the mark.

Welsh First Minister Rhodri Morgan said it could engage all sections of society by raising awareness.

A year after the G8 summit and the Make Poverty History march in Edinburgh, his counterpart Jack McConnell launched Scotland's campaign on Monday.

In July 2005 about 200,000 people led by Sir Bob Geldof marched on the G8 summit of world leaders meeting in Gleneagles, to put the issue of world poverty on their agenda.

The use of fair trade products in Wales could lift thousands of poor third world farmers out of poverty
First Minister Rhodri Morgan

On Monday the assembly government said both it and the Scottish Executive were "committed to turning talk about poverty into action to help developing countries".

The assembly government said both Wales and Scotland "were committed to fair trade which guarantees a better deal for third world farmers, hundreds of thousands of whom now benefit from the scheme as sales of fair trade goods continue to grow in the UK at a rate of 40% a year".

Mr Morgan said he hoped Wales would become a fair trade country in 2007.

"The use of fair trade products in Wales could lift thousands of poor third world farmers out of poverty," he said.

Make Poverty History March in Edinburgh last July
Hundreds of thousands protested about world poverty last July

"Our buying decisions as public sector organisations and individuals can make a real difference.

"That is the way for us all to play our part in making poverty history"

Mr McConnell, meanwhile, is expected to make an announcement about the Scottish campaign when he gives a speech in Glasgow to ambassadors and diplomats from across the world.

The assembly government said it had been working closely with the Wales Fair Trade Forum - the body which would award the coveted status - to establish the necessary measures.

These include an agreed number of towns, cities and local authorities having already gained fair trade status.

Banana farmer

Wales is said to be well on the way with 13 so far - Aberystwyth, Ammanford, Brecon, Cardiff, Conwy, Criccieth, Denbighshire, Dyfi Valley, Flintshire, Monmouth, Porthcawl, Swansea and Wrexham

A two-year development officer post for the Wales Fair Trade Forum which has led to this campaign has been funded by the assembly government.

It has also paid for a banana farmer from the Windward Isles to tour Wales during fair trade fortnight and funded a website.

The Value Wales scheme is also running a pilot project for fair trade bananas for schools in Cardiff, Swansea and Wrexham.


SEE ALSO
What is Fair Trade?
18 Jun 02 |  Business
How fair is Fairtrade?
09 Mar 06 |  Business
Global Fairtrade sales taking off
28 Jun 06 |  Business

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