North Lanarkshire councillors give backing to International Fair Trade Charter

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North Lanarkshire Council has pledged support to the International Fair Trade Charter after receiving unanimous backing at the Youth, Equalities & Empowerment Committee.

The Charter was initiated by the two largest International Fair Trade organisations – Fair Trade International and the World Fair Trade Organisation.

The main objectives of The International Fair Trade Charter are to:

Support the work of Fair Trade Organisations in raising awareness of consumers and citizens of the importance and impact of Fair Trade;

Facilitate collaboration among Fair Trade Organisations by connecting their specific missions and strategies with the common philosophy of the movement, and to promote collaboration with the solidarity economy, organic agriculture movements and others that fight for similar goals to the movement;

Enable others who work with Fair Trade Organisations e.g. Government, to recognise the values and approaches that unite the movement.

Work has also been progressing with the council’s steering group to establish a Fair Trade Zone in North Lanarkshire, with a number of criteria already being met by the council, with more to follow.

This work comes after a cross-party motion by Councillor John McLaren was unanimously passed at the full council meeting last month.

He said: “The impact of this work goes much wider than North Lanarkshire, and has such a positive effect on the lives of so many around the world.

“We should be proud that we are playing our part in providing improved working conditions, enabling the empowerment of women and giving opportunities for the next generation to thrive.

“Our council steering group will continue to work in partnership with our communities to progress the work required to obtain Fair Trade status.

“Receiving unanimous support for the council to sign up to the International Fair Trade Charter is just the latest in a series of positive steps we are taking to make the world a better place.”