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Fairtrade Towns

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament at 5:32 pm on 6th March 2003.

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Photo of Jamie Stone Jamie Stone Liberal Democrat 5:32 pm, 6th March 2003

Absolutely right.

Sandra White is also correct that Fairtrade products do not get the response, "Yuck mummy, what is that?"—they are good stuff. Linda Fabiani mentioned honey, tea and coffee, but I want to mention the excellent wine that can be bought at Fairtrade stands. Last week, I bought a box of it and found it extremely good; the only trouble was that the box finished rather sooner than I would have liked. I will buy another one as soon as I get home.

Donald Gorrie was right to talk about people power. Fairtrade products appeal to ordinary people in a way that many other things do not. It increases one's faith in the goodness of humanity when people say that they care about fair trade and buy the products. Those people are not only from the chattering classes; people from all walks of life go to the stand in the Co-op.

When Linda Fabiani, John Home Robertson and I eventually finish the magnificent new building at the end of the royal mile, we can assume that, after David McLetchie's comments this afternoon, the Conservative offices will be somewhere in the basement and next to the garage. My serious point is that the Parliament and the Executive are doing a certain amount, but we can do more. I hope that there will come a day when lots of Fairtrade products are eaten in our canteens and dining rooms and sold in the Parliament shop.

Why do we have only a Fairtrade fortnight and why are only some shops involved? We must move on and go for the ultimate aim of making Fairtrade products available 365 days a year. What we are doing is a start. As members were speaking Gaelic earlier, let me say this: togar càrn mòr de chlachan beaga—from small stones a mighty cairn is built. In concluding with those words in Gaelic, I have guaranteed myself a brown envelope from the official report.