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.

Figures from Fairtrade UK shows that nearly 21 out 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 goods such as coffee and cocoa and are not exploited.

To become a Fairtrade area, councils must achieve five goals including having a range of Fairtrade products in at least two shops, cafes or restaurants and having community groups and workplaces use them as much as possible.

Natalie Don, SNP councillor for Renfrewshire, which has a Fairtrade steering group, 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.

“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.”