Scotland in Fairtrade nation bid

Costa Rican banana worker
Image caption Consumers are being encouraged to buy more Fairtrade products

Scotland is on course to become a Fairtrade nation later this year, according to External Affairs Secretary Fiona Hyslop.

Across the country, 62 towns have either achieved Fairtrade status or have active steering groups.

Almost two-thirds of higher education institutions and 171 schools have achieved the standard.

Fairtrade products are said to offer a better deal to workers in developing countries.

All six cities and 14 of the country's 32 councils have Fairtrade status, with only four more local authorities needed for Scotland to become one of the world's first Fairtrade nations.

Ms Hyslop said: "It is encouraging to see good progress being made across all walks of life in Scotland, whether that is in our schools, colleges and universities, churches or within central and local government.

"The Scottish government is committed to raising awareness and promoting the Fairtrade agenda throughout Scotland and I am confident that later this year, Scotland will become a Fairtrade nation."

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