Signs show Melrose’s commitment to fair play

Members of the Melrose Primary School Fairtrade committee with teacher Rhea Kershaw and Fairtrade group members.
Members of the Melrose Primary School Fairtrade committee with teacher Rhea Kershaw and Fairtrade group members.

All might be fair in love and war, and the same could be said of many goods available in the Borders.

Melrose last year managed to meet the various criteria involved to be designated as a Fairtrade town, and now it is able to proclaim that achievement to the world, thanks to a new set of signs.

It is the third town in the Borders to earn that accolade, following Peebles and Selkirk.

Roadside signs have been put up at the three main entry points to the town centre declaring its commitment to fairness in trading transactions and alerting visitors and residents alike to the fact that they can expect to find lots of Fairtrade goods for sale beyond.

The cost of the signs has been covered by a grant from Scottish Borders Council.

Among the Fairtrade goods to be found in Melrose’s hotels, cafes and shops are tea, coffee and sugar.

Dave Potts, secretary of Melrose’s Fairtrade group, said: “We believe that a lot of hard work raising awareness about Fairtrade in the town has now paid off, and to see the roadside signs in place makes us feel very proud of what we have achieved for Melrose. We hope that this designation will encourage others yet to embrace Fairtrade into exploring the opportunity to do so.

“In particular, the group wishes to recognise the immense contribution that Melrose Primary School has played, and continues to play, in this process.

“With strong support from senior management and dedication from staff, our young people are engaged, knowledgeable and aware of the benefits that Fairtrade brings to developing countries.”

“This practical interest will once again be evident when the school hosts a visit from two Malawian Fairtrade rice farmers later this month ,and they hear more about that country’s farming conditions and the benefitsFairtrade brings to them and their community.

The school continues to have a pupil-run Fairtrade committee managing a tuck shop once a month, supported by the town’s Holy Trinity Church.