Scotland has the highest percentage of council areas which are recognised as Fairtrade areas compared with the rest of the UK, according to new statistics.

Fairtrade UK data shows that 21 of Scotland’s 32 council areas (65%) are Fairtrade areas, compared with just 33% of councils in England and 41% in Wales.

Endorsing Fairtrade products and practices means farmers in developing countries get a fair price for their products and are not exploited.

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Farmers in industries such as coffee and cocoa can earn a fair living, enabling them to put food on their tables.

One Scottish council placing great importance on this is Renfrewshire Council, which has its own Fairtrade steering group.

HeraldScotland:

Renfrewshire SNP councillor Natalie Don said: “Fairtrade is vital in ensuring farmers in the developing world get an acceptable price for their goods and are not exploited for cheap labour.

“It’s great news that Scotland is leading the way in recognising the benefits of being a Fairtrade area.

“Shoppers may not see the impact of Fairtrade when they buy a coffee or fruit, but you will know that making that choice is helping some of the poorest people across the world to make a living and have control of their lives.

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“In Renfrewshire we have placed great importance on this issue with our SNP council leader sitting on the Fairtrade steering group.

“I would urge all councils in Scotland who have not already signed up to start their journey to becoming a fair trade area and make Scotland the first fully fair trade country.”