Eco-Congregation Scotland Article

Fair Trade Scotland is a Social Business ­ operating in the private sector ­ because we believe that to be sustainable you need to be profitable. We are a company limited by guarantee, with no charitable status and no shareholders and we have the Charter of Fair Trade and the 10 WFTO principles written into our constitution. We originally set up the business in 2006 to import FLO certified sugar, processed in Malawi, direct into Greenock, Scotland.

It took four years to overcome the complicated barriers and new EU regulations and we began trading in 2010. Our vision is that by setting up a social business we are able to secure the livelihoods of sugar cane growers in Malawi by finding manufacturers that are willing to work with us to develop long term trading relationships, enabling producers to plan for the future rather than live a hand to mouth existence.

We are registered with the Fairtrade Foundation as an importer of FLO certified sugar, and importer/Licensee for the UK’s first FAIRTRADE Mark Plantain chips, from Ecuador, where we partner with Fair Business Alliance, to ensure the whole supply chain is commited to Fair Trade principles. We are the only full members of WFTO (World Fair Trade Organisation) in Scotland and are currently working towards the new WFTO Guarantee System (see www.wfto.com).

The WFTO Guarantee System and the product certification mark are two different but complimentary routes that allow the use of the term Fair Trade. The WFTO Guarantee System is a management tool for companies that adhere to the 10 WFTO principles. The product certification mark is the well known FAIRTRADE Mark given to Commercial Licensees to put on their products.

Whilst we pursue our core sugar importing business we are also supporting WFTO craft producers from South Africa, Cambodia and Sri Lanka to bring their products to market by building capacity with those committed to buying Fair Trade products and we are also registered distributors for Cafedirect beverages.