Lanark joins campaign to make Scotland world’s first ‘Fair Trade Nation’

Rev Bryan Kerr in the Clydesdale Inn, Lanark at the launch of their Christmas Greyfriars Ale'17/12/09'Picture by Lindsay Addison
Rev Bryan Kerr in the Clydesdale Inn, Lanark at the launch of their Christmas Greyfriars Ale'17/12/09'Picture by Lindsay Addison
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LOYAL Lanarkians have long regarded their burgh as a fair town.

But can it officially become a Fair Trade Town too?

It certainly can, says a steering group of local folk, formally set up last week to have every citizen and business in the Royal Burgh `thinking Fair Trade’ every day and in every way by the end of next year.

Heading the group is Greyfriars Church’s Rev Bryan Kerr who explained that it had been decided that the Royal Burgh join in a Scottish Government initiative to eventually make Scotland the first `Fair Trade Nation’ on Earth.

Several towns have already achieved the coveted status and now Bryan and fellow group members think it is Lanark’s turn.

He explained: “Actually a start had already been made; our three main supermarkets, Tesco, Morrison’s and Lidl’s, already have Fair Trade goods on sale; Lanark Grammar and Robert Owen Primary are already conducting a Fair Trade policy with Lanark Primary joining soon and even Greyfriars is a `Fair Trade Church’ as we ensure it is only ethically-produced tea, coffee and sugar that goes into the cuppas at every kirk event and at our after-service get-togethers.

“That’s really what we will be trying to promote over the coming year; every little thing we do as individuals or businesses - no matter how small or seemingly insignificant - can be done ethically and in a way that the people in deprived countries far away are getting a fair price for their goods and a fair wage for their labour.

“We want Lanark to be able to stand up and say: We don’t unfairly exploit anyone, anywhere in the world. That is a proud boast for any community to be able to make.”

Bryan and his team have already held talks with various businesses and groups in Lanark at a public meeting and another, invitation-only, gathering is to be held next month to firm up the campaign.

The aim, says Bryan, is to win Lanark the official Fair Trade Town appilation by this time next year.

Hopefully, soon after that the signs into Lanark will not only proudly say `Royal Burgh 1140’ but also `Fair Trade Town 2013’ too.

If anyone wishes to help the effort in any way or needs advice on how to conduct their business in a Fair Trade way, call 01555 661510.