Monthly Archives: March 2018

Meeting of 16th January 2018

WYCOMBE FOR FAIRTRADE

Minutes of meeting:  16th January 2018

Avenue Methodist Church, Rutland Avenue

Those present:

Mike King                      Jhon Munoz

Sheena King                  Bob Smith

Sarah Moroz                 Tony Thornby

MK – Christ the Servant King church has awarded us another £250 grant from their Mission fund. The previous amount of £250 that they gave us was extremely useful. MK thinks we shouldn’t use it to buy provisions for the renewal presentation event.

MK – has sent e-mails to Wycombe Swan, Wycombe Wanderers and Bewleys. Has now heard back from Louise Whitaker (Sustainability Manager) at Bewleys – they are not planning to have any speakers who are producers but she is currently visiting coffee producers in Nicaragua and is willing to do a talk about it for us. MK has invited her to our presentation evening and asked her to speak for 5 mins (22nd February).

MK – has also written to Mid-Counties Co-op to ask for a discount on FT wine.

MK – showed a book by George Monbiot “How did we get into this Mess?” The author says that FT may well be needed as a necessary means to feed the world

JM – recently went to Bolivia and visited 3 Co-operatives, 2 of which he visited 3 years ago. He also visited a brazil nut factory. Last year, there was the lowest production of brazil nuts since the beginning of the last century. Seems to be due to climate change. There is insufficient rain, a lack of bees and deforestation. In the 18th century rubber was a big product and was then superseded by artificial rubber. JM witnessed how the FT premium is being used – for improving houses and saving money to be used for improving healthcare. JM has written 2 blogs about this and will be putting it on our Facebook page. The management of co-operatives is not so well organised in Bolivia, so these may not be a good option for partnering with. Nicaragua would be better. They did have problems in the late 70s / 80s due to fighting involving the Sandinistas. JM knows the president of the co-operative in Nicaragua. JM is going to start working with Liberation at the end of Feb / beginning of March but is also doing some work helping out the Twin Partnership (coffee).

MK – thinks that Nicaragua does not currently have any FT towns

JM – Chile also has well-organised FT co-ops

MK – sent round a list of 12 FT Town websites before Christmas and showed a sheet with the different sections / sub-menus highlighted

MK – has updated our directory to add Highcrest Academy as having FairAware status and Godstowe as FT Registered status. Has also updated the date on the front to 2018 – 2019.

MK – asks us to send any comments re: the websites before his meeting with TT on 24/01/18.

BS – asked if we would be able to have a group e-mail address

TT – we can’t with the present set-up which is hosted by the Lib Dem site but it would be possible if we had our own stand-alone site. To do this, we would have to pay for it to be hosted elsewhere (about £3 per month).

MK – was very impressed with the St Andrew’s website

SM – if the Wycombe Tourist Info office has a website, we could ask them to put a link on it to our new website.

MK – re: FT Fortnight – we can’t attend or have any input to the council meeting in the council chamber on 22nd Feb (an important meeting on council tax is taking place) but we can have refreshments in the committee room afterwards

JM – has some samples from Liberation which we could use on 22nd Feb

MK – the meeting with Suzanne Brown didn’t come about in the end – perhaps later in the year.

SK – is going to get a resource pack from the FT Foundation

JM – it is also possible to get some resources from Twin / Liberation

MK – has suggested that we have some sort of exhibition in Hills Cafe during FT Fortnight. The community benefits of the cafe mirror the benefits of the FT premium to producer groups

SM – need to get a message out to all the councillors to invite them to the refreshments on 22nd Feb

TT – offered to take some photos

JM – we could organise a talk by Louise Whitaker at one of the Wycombe schools

SM – maybe for World Fair Trade Day in May

MK – some other FT Towns offered an associate membership scheme (this would be another income stream).

There was a discussion re: organising various people to speak on Wycombe Sound during FT Fortnight eg. Louise from Bewleys, Matt Knight, a representative from the Co-op

SM – will contact Highcrest to see if they would like to speak on Wycombe Sound radio re: what they are doing on FT

SK – may be doing a FT stall on 4th March

MK –there is a new FT retailer in Wycombe – The Hatch

JM – there is also The Works

Next meeting: Tuesday 6th February

Presentation of the Wycombe Fairtrade Town Renewal Certificate – February 2018

An evening event was held on Thursday 22nd February 2018, for the Chairman of the Wycombe for Fairtrade Steering Group, Mike King, to present the Wycombe Fairtrade Town Renewal Certificate to the Chairman of Wycombe District Council, Cllr Suzanne Brown.

Around 30 councillors attended the event following a long meeting that did not finish until 8.45pm. I think they found the food and drink refreshed their spirits. There was a very positive atmosphere and the wooden-panelled committee room was an ideal location. It was interesting talking to some of the councillors and listening to their ideas regarding moving Fairtrade forward.

A couple of the councillors had been exploring the possibility of improving signage to reflect that High Wycombe is a Fairtrade Town in dialogue with Bucks County Council. The Steering Group had no idea this avenue was being pursued. Also, councillors took away many copies of the latest “Directory of Wycombe Town Fairtrade Outlets 2018 -2019”.

The overall impression was that it cemented the Wycombe For Fairtrade Group’s links with the Council, and that our plans for future networking with international groups and producer cooperatives received many nods of approval and favourable comments.

This evening turned out to be exactly the informal, enjoyable, celebration event that the Steering Group hoped it would be.