Melrose Fairtrade Group got its campaign to seek Fairtrade Town status under way last Saturday.
Councillor Iain Gillespie, performing the formal launch at the Trinity Centre, was pleased to see the town intended to join Selkirk and Peebles, the other Borders communities which have already become Fairtrade Towns. Scottish Borders Council is a Fairtrade Authority.
The launch was an integral part of the coffee morning and sale of fairly-traded goods that Holy Trinity Church promotes on a regular basis. Melrose Fairtrade Group has already been instrumental in encouraging the other local churches – St Cuthbert’s and St Mary’s – to sign up with the Fairtrade Foundation to using Fairtrade tea, coffee and sugar for their congregations and visitors.
Primary 7 at Melrose Primary School have also embraced Fairtrade Fortnight with enthusiasm. Linking with their Eco-hour project, they have been promoting Fairtrade bananas, with the sale in school of the fruit and baked items.
Group member Dave Potts has also been in school to give an illustrated talk on his recent trip to India to meet those who grow and produce Fairtrade, seeing for himself the benefits that Fairtrade brings to urban and rural communities.
Pupils will soon undertake a survey of shopping habits in relation to Fairtrade products before presenting the data to the group. Following this, group members will assess the availability of Fairtrade products in local retail outlets and their use among businesses.