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Fairtrade Towns

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament at 5:18 pm on 6th March 2003.

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Photo of Colin Campbell Colin Campbell Scottish National Party 5:18 pm, 6th March 2003

I congratulate Linda Fabiani on securing the debate. I spent the first 25 years of my life in Paisley, which is in my region and is as near to my home town as anywhere can be. Paisley is trying vigorously to qualify as a Fairtrade town. Last year, Renfrewshire Council supported the initiative and the provost of Renfrewshire appeared in his pyjamas in bed in a shop window eating Fairtrade food to make the point.

I draw the Parliament's attention to a little Fairtrade shop in Paisley. I attended the shop's opening as escort to my wife, who is an enthusiast for fair trade, and I discovered that every other political party was represented, which shows how important uniting on the matter is. The shop is called Rainbow Turtle—I do not know the reason for the name. According to its constitution, the shop's purpose is to advance education by promoting awareness of Fairtrade goods and associated issues in the developing world among the widest possible public and to promote the purpose of charitable bodies that have similar objectives.

The shop sells a wide variety of Fairtrade goods, some from Traidcraft in Gateshead and others from many other sources. The promotion of global citizenship and international social justice—to which we would all subscribe—is among its educational purposes. The shop is completely staffed by volunteers from Tuesday to Saturday every week and has got off to a really good start in the past 12 months. Its founders are Liz and Phil Cotton, Kate Cox and Alison Patrick. A team backs them on the management committee and in the shop. Their initiative and sense of mission should be recorded.

That is all that I want to say. I crave the indulgence of members, as the fourth out of five Fairtrade events in my house is taking place this evening and I had better get there by 7 o'clock or I will be in deep trouble.