First Fair Trade Festival

Edinburgh is celebrating its 11th year as a Fair Trade City by establishing a Fair Trade Festival for the first time.

The Festival will promote the many special events that take place over the city during Fair Trade Fortnight (23 February – 8 March 2015) in schools, shops, cafes, faith groups, community halls and Edinburgh’s colleges and universities. This year the theme is the impact that Fair Trade is making in the world’s poorest communities.

Summerhall will be the host venue this year for a special one-day Festival event on Saturday 28 February that will bring together Fair Trade stalls, speakers, delicious free refreshments from Nutmeg Bakehouse, music, storytelling and special guests Gabriel Kamudu and Pamela L’Intelligent from Mauritius.

This free event for all ages will also host singers from Edinburgh Contemporary Choir and have the accomplished Kenyan Scottish storyteller Mara Menzies.

Pamela and Gabriel work for an established Fair Trade organisation called Craftaid that employs disabled workers in Mauritius to make Fair Trade school uniforms and to pick and pack Fair Trade sugar. The One World Shop at St John’s Church sells this sugar and several schools in Edinburgh already purchase Fair Trade school uniforms that are made by Craftaid including Leith Primary School and Duddingston Primary School.

Edinburgh’s Rt Hon Lord Provost, Donald Wilson, will be hosting the visitors from Mauritius at the Lord Provost Fair Trade Awards Ceremony in the City Chambers on 2 March. The Awards are in recognition of those organisations and individuals across the city who have contributed most to the promotion of Fair Trade. He said: “I am very proud of Edinburgh’s long-standing commitment to Fair Trade and these awards provide us with an excellent opportunity to praise the generous contribution individuals and businesses are making to fair trade throughout the city. The Festival and all of the events taking place across Fair Trade Fortnight offers the opportunity to discover the fantastic variety and quality of Fair Trade products that are on offer.”

Alasdair Friend, Head teacher at Leith Primary School, added: “I am delighted to hear that the visitors from Mauritius are coming to Edinburgh. We believe strongly in children and their families understanding how the choices they make can have a profound impact on the lives of others across the world. Being a Fair Trade school is a key part of this.”

Edinburgh’s first Fair Trade Festival will showcase a selection of stalls, live music, storytelling, and free refreshments. Free to attend, the Festival is being held on Saturday 28 March, 10:30am-2:30pm at Summerhall which is a wheelchair and pushchair friendly venue.

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