Motherwell is the only Fairtrade town in North Lanarkshire but Cumbernauld looks certain to become the second as a giant community-led effort gets under way.
The move is expected to see churches, schools and groups working in close contact with the Edinburgh-based Scottish Fairtrade forum, whose director Martin Rhodes spoke at this college meeting. Mr Rhodes told the News and Chronicle that he sensed tremendous enthusiasm for the project locally
He said: “The people of Cumbernauld really showed their commitment to an important cause.
“I was very impressed by the support shown by representatives from Parliament, North Lanarkshire Council, schools, the college, churches, community groups and individuals. The meeting showed Cumbernauld cares about Fairtrade and that it has a vibrant community.”
He added: “We look forward to continuing to support Cumbernauld in its campaign.’’
MSP Jamie Hepburn, who helped to organise the meeting, said he was encouraged by the progress on the night.He said: “Fairtrade is now a mainstream concept, with sales of fairtrade products having experienced significant growth in the last few years.
“It is an idea that ensures a fair price for producers in some of the poorest parts of the world, and makes people here think about where their goods in their shopping trolleys have been sourced from.
“There are also substantial benefits for communities that move towards Fairtrade status for their towns, as these efforts can bring a diverse range of individuals together.”
A Fairtrade steering group is to be formally set up in the new year.