Fairtrade is 20 years old – Happy Birthday says Paul

20 years ago the Fairtrade Foundation was formed.  Since then a campaign has grown to make the UK the largest market for Fairtrade goods in the world.

Locally, Cllr Paul Johnston, leader of the Democratic Independent and Green Group on Aberdeenshire Council has been campaigning for Fairtrade.  In response to the 20th anniversary he said:

“Fairtrade was never a charity and is simply all about paying a fair price to farmers to lift them from levels of poverty not experienced here.”

“From 20 years ago and the first Fairtrade Products we have progressed past the first Fairtrade Town of Garstang in 2001 to Aberdeenshire becoming a Fairtrade zone in 2013.  It is a great achievement to raise the awareness of fairly traded goods, creating millions of consumers who make the ethical choice to look for the Fairtrade logo whenever possible.”

Paul was one a the many founders of the Mid Formartine Fairtrade group and campaigns, Aberdeenshire wide, to persuade businesses and consumers to think about buying and selling goods from third world countries at a fair price that allows producers and small farmers to achieve milestones in development, such as clean water, health care and education.  Not through charity but through paying a decent price.

” I was always struck with the story of Britain’s first Fairtrade Town, Garstang in Lancashire.  Their Fairtrade campaigners asked people to both pay a fair price for imported goods from third world countries but also reminded people to pay a fair price to local farmers for local produce.  Trade justice knows no boundaries.  However, it can mean life or death in some third world countries.” said Paul.

“So its happy birthday to the Fairtrade Foundation. Asa birthday wish, I hope for a world where we the idea of paying a fair price was second nature and we don’t need to remind the public.  But this 20 year journey has shown that people can and will, do the right thing….be fair and with their own small step of everyday buying goods, help to bring about trade and social justice”

To mark the 20th anniversary, the Fairtrade Foundation have received a message from Prince Charles supporting the movement for trade justice.  It can be viewed on the Formartine Fairtrade web page at:

If you want to know more about Fairtrade or get involved, then visit:


About Paul

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