Fairtrade Fortnight: Monday 21 February to Sunday 6 March 2022

Edinburgh has held Fairtrade City status since 2004. Fairtrade is a movement to give better prices, fair terms of trade and improved working conditions for farmers and workers in the developing world.

Fairtrade Fortnight is an opportunity to stand with farmers in low-income countries affected by the climate crisis; a show of solidarity with communities on the frontline. Together we can help farmers benefit from fairer prices and fairer trading practices, and obtain the resources they need to tackle the climate emergency.

The climate crisis is the biggest threat to the livelihoods of millions of small-scale farmers and agricultural workers in low-income countries. Without a fairer income they are unable to invest in the mitigation and adaptation techniques needed to protect the environment and their businesses.    

Thousands of Fairtrade communities play a key role in raising awareness of the link between trade and poverty. Fairtrade fights the climate crisis: Fairtrade standards encourage producers to protect the environment by improving soil, planting trees, conserving water and avoiding pesticides, while Fairtrade’s climate academies help farmers share best practices and learn the latest agricultural methods to adapt to conditions.

Engage with Fairtrade Fortnight to protect people and planet, and buy Fairtrade products to make trade fairer for those in lower-income countries.  

We are facing an existential planetary threat.  Global heating is already disastrous for the farmers and workers who grow our food – they need cash to adapt.  Poverty and environmental damage in food supply chains will not end until exploited farmers are paid fairly and can plan for the future.  Only then can they effectively fight the impacts of the climate crisis. This matters to you as climate change threatens the survival and sustainability of supply chains behind some of the UK’s best-loved imports, such as coffee, cocoa and bananas.

Being a farmer shouldn’t be a route to poverty, and the Fairtrade Premium is vital to give farmers in low-income nations the tools to tackle the climate crisis.  For example, without it cocoa farmers only earn 3% of the price of a chocolate bar.  

Join us this Fairtrade Fortnight and act for climate justice.
There will be Fairtrade stalls at the following libraries where you’ll be able to speak to volunteers and find out more about the movement:
Central Library: Saturday 26 February and Saturday 5 March, 10.30am until about 2pm
Gilmerton Library: Saturday 26 February and Saturday 5 March, 10.30am until about 2pm
Morningside Library: Saturday 26 February and Saturday 5 March, 10.30am until about 2pm
South Queensferry Library: Saturday 26 February, 10.30am until about 2pm

Or for more information go to:
Fairtrade Foundation
World Fair Trade Organisation
Scottish Fair Trade Forum
Edinburgh Fairtrade City on Facebook

Green Pencil Award-winner 2021

We’re thrilled to announce the winning entry for the 2021 Green Pencil creative writing competition on the theme of Climate Change is ‘We need to stop this now!’ by Alfie Ross, from St. Mary’s Primary School.

And we’re delighted to invite you to listen to a specially recorded reading of Alfie’s poem by poet, Jeda Pearl Lewis.
Here is, ‘We need to stop this now!’

The winning entry for the 2021 Green Pencil creative writing award, ‘We need to stop this now!’ by Alfie Ross, is read by poet, Jeda Pearl Lewis.

You can enjoy all four of our finalists read their highly commended entries in yesterday’s blog post.

Green Pencil Award 2021

A big thank you to all the children and young people who entered the Green Pencil creative writing competition. We enjoyed reading all your writing.

This year’s theme tackled a very hot topic – climate change. P4-P7 aged children and young people in S1-3 were challenged to write a poem, piece of prose or story on the theme.

Once again, we were unable to hold an awards ceremony in Central Library, so here instead, you can listen to the finalists read their highly commended entries in these special Green Pencil videos.

Congratulations to all our talented finalists!

Raghav Palanivel from Corstorphine Primary School reads his highly commended poem ‘A kid’s cry for justice’.
Alex Cook Ribes from Hermitage Park Primary School reads his highly commended poem ‘Mother Earth’.
Alfie Ross from St. Mary’s Primary School reads his highly commended poem ‘We need to stop this now!’
Lulah Thomson from Wardie Primary School reads her highly commended poem ‘My Highland Home’.

Come back tomorrow when the winner will be revealed…

COP26 – How to Be a Responsible Activist

With so much talk about COP26 happening in the news and in schools, many pupils in Edinburgh secondary schools are becoming interested in campaigning and activism about issues that are important to them. But what makes a responsible activist? Catrina Randall from Young Friends of the Earth Scotland is here to help! Secondary school pupils across the city were given the opportunity by their school librarian to submit questions to Catrina via an online form. A small group of school librarians then had the challenge of selecting the best questions to put forward to Catrina. This interview is a culmination of their amazing questions and Catriona’s thought-provoking answers: 

Next steps? Pupils from eight Edinburgh secondary schools will put Catrina’s advice into practice and create their own protest banners on the issues that matter to them. The final banners will be revealed during COP26 – so watch this space!

Celebrating Book Week Scotland: Climate change and the survival of being

We are delighted to announce an evening with Alastair McIntosh, one of Scotland’s leading writers and an honorary professor of the University of Glasgow, on Wednesday 18 November at 7.30pm.

Alastair McIntosh

Alastair McIntosh’s new book Riders on the Storm (Birlinn 2020) has received critical acclaim as a rigorous but engaging outline of the present science of climate change. But the deeper reason why he wrote it is enfolded in the subtitle: “Climate change and the survival of being”. Both the climate crisis and Covid-19, he says, are wake-up calls to our humanity – a call to deepen our psychology and even spirituality, fresh openings of the way in human consciousness. His other books include Soil and Soul (Aurum 2001) and Poacher’s Pilgrimage (Birlinn 2016).

This event will take online via Zoom and at least a third of the time will be given over to audience interaction.

An unmissable treat to liven up a cold November evening!

Book your free ticket on the Edinburgh Reads Eventbrite page.

This event is part of Edinburgh Libraries Book Week Scotland programme, in partnership with Birlinn publishers and supported by Scottish Book Trust.