Every week, Liberal Democrat Secretary of State for Scotland, Michael Moore MP, writes a column for newspapers in his Borders Constituency. Here is the latest edition.
Fairtrade fortnight is now drawing to a close and it has been a great couple of weeks of raising awareness of the brand across the UK to inspire more people to buy Fairtrade. The theme of the fortnight was ‘Go Further’ to encourage people to try new Fairtrade products. I know that many Borderers already buy Fairtrade coffee, tea and bananas, but there are now so many more products available that are definitely worth a try.
During Fairtrade fortnight, it was a privilege to have Justine Watalunga, a Fairtrade farmer from Uganada, visiting the Borders and sharing her inspirational story. I was unfortunately unable to meet her in person but I am sure that her visit will have encouraged more local people to buy Fairtrade and ensure that farmers in developing countries get a fair price for their produce.
In the Borders I continue to work with the Borders Fairtrade Zone Steering Group, as one of their members, to raise the profile of the Fairtrade brand locally. It’s good to see local shops, businesses and the Council already using Fairtrade products but there’s always more we can do to increase the use of Fairtrade and I am pleased to be working with the Group to achieve this.
Last week EU fishing ministers agreed a deal to end fish discards which I know will be welcome for fishermen and consumers here in Berwickshire. Many fishermen locally have struggled as a result of the failure of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) and as we work towards its reform, news like this is certainly a step in the right direction. This is not the end of the CFP reform process but it is an important milestone as we seek to fix a system that has never delivered for fishermen in the Borders.
Arctic convoy and Bomber command veterans
It was great to hear the announcement from the UK Government last week that Arctic Convoy medals and Bomber Command clasps will now be awarded to veterans who took part in these campaigns. As MP for the Borders, I have campaigned for proper recognition for our veterans for many years and it is absolutely right that those who served in the Arctic Convoys and Bomber Command will now receive an award for their sacrifice and service.
You can find applications for the awards here
* Michael Moore was the Liberal Democrat MP for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk from 1997-2015 and Secretary of State for Scotland from 2010-2013.