New signs recognise status

MONTROSE is set to proclaim its coveted Fairtrade status with new signage attached to three boundary signs on the three main routes into town.

The first Fairtrade town in Angus, Montrose achieved accreditation in 2009 after a two-year campaign and the town’s credentials were renewed for a further two years in March this year.

Fairtrade is a strategy for poverty alleviation and sustainable development. It ensures producers in developing countries receive a fair price for their goods to reflect the true cost of production and provides communities with funds to invest in vital facilities such as schools, hospitals and road improvements.

To gain accreditation, a community must show that its businesses and organisations provide and stock FT alternatives, such as bananas, coffee, tea, chocolate and wine.

Since 2009 Forfar and Brechin have achieved Fairtrade status and there has also been an application for county-wide status. Members of Angus Council’s infrastructure services committee were due to discuss the policy for Fairtrade signage at the time of going to press on Tuesday.

Any signs approved, however, will not carry the Fairtrade logo following advice from Transport Scotland which considers it to be “advertising and must not be used.” They would be additional signs installed on a separate plate below the town’s boundary signs to comply with the roads agency’s ruling.

Infrastructure services director Eric Lowson said the signs, which would cost £500 each and £5,000 in total, would be installed for towns and not smaller communities and only on the main A class road boundary signs.

He said: “If, in the future, the remaining four burgh towns achieve Fairtrade status the capital cost of similar provision would be a further £5,000 approximately.”

The cost of providing the new signage will be met from the council’s transport capital budget for two centre enhancements.