For two weeks each year, thousands of individuals, companies and groups across the UK come together to celebrate the people who grow our food, people who live in some of the poorest countries in the world and who are often exploited and badly paid. This year we are focusing on the people – in particular the women – who grow the cocoa in the chocolate we love so much.
Minutes of meeting: 8th January 2019
Avenue Methodist Church, Rutland Road
Mike King Jhon Munoz
Angus Massie Bob Smith
Sarah Moroz Tony Thornby
Apologies from Sheena King, Ivan Cicin-sain and Emily Dixie.
MK – There is an updated version of the directory.
SM – The mayor’s carol service went well. Approximately £100 was taken in donations on the day for refreshments. This was split 50/50 between ourselves and the mayor’s charities. We put our leaflets and directories on the tables and had our FT banner.
MK – There were probably 180/200 people present. He spoke with Lesley Clarke on the day and she asked to be kept in the loop re: our contact with producers in southern and central America. MK also spoke with a man from Wycombe Sound and we hope to do an interview (MK/TT/JM?) during FT Fortnight.
TT – Re: website. TT is in the process of working on it. There are some current problems with WordPress. He will also put messages on Twitter and Facebook saying we have an updated website.
JM – Went to visit his family in Colombia this Christmas. Prior to going, people in Tibasosa invited him to visit them. The plan was to go by bus but it would have been four hours each way so wasn’t manageable. However, JM has been talking to the people in Tibasosa and they are currently engaging with local authorities and with CLAC (the Latin American and Caribbean Network of Fair Trade Small Producers and Workers) to get FT certification. They will send us some information for our website. Re: the town of Gracia in Costa Rica, JM has been trying to contact Maria (who was at the Madrid conference) on Whatsapp and/or Skype and hopes to communicate with her next week. She will be sending information to put on our website. Re: Espranza, JM doesn’t have contact with the person who leads the group there (and she doesn’t speak Spanish). JM is trying to make contact via CLAC.
MK – Has looked into all eleven FT towns in Southern/Central America and Tibasosa and Gracia are the only two which have good support from their local authorities.
MK – we now have approximately £350 in our account.
SM – We could give a donation to Wycombe Sound if we do an interview there in FT Fortnight (we gave £50 last time).
TT – It would be good to have sections on our website about:
- FT in general
- Our group and links with groups in Southern/Central America
- Retailers in the town
- Related topics – environment, climate, sustainability
MK – Re: Ideas for FT Fortnight. For the suggested event with Wycombe Friends of the Earth, MK suggested that Bucks New University would be a better venue than the Quaker meeting house. Emily would prefer an event to be held during their volunteer week, which is the week before FT Fortnight. There could potentially be two events; one for students and staff and one for councillors etc. Either event could be combined with coffee/chocolate tasting. We could perhaps see if Louise would also take part in the interview at Wycombe Sound. Other potential venues for events are Christ the Servant King Church and Hills Cafe.
TT – We could also invite members of the churches in Wycombe. We would need to get people to register for this event so that we have an idea for numbers. This would be at the same event as councillors and Wycombe Friends of the Earth.
MK – We might be able to get the Bucks Free Press there if the Mayor was able to go.
JM – we could also invite members of other local FT groups.
MK – This could include the Oxford region FT group. Carol Wills is a member there – she attended the Madrid conference and used to be a director of the World FT Organisation.
JM – We could also invite Margaret Dykes.
SM – Has sent an email today to Highcrest Academy as a follow up to the letter sent in November. SM was unable to find any mention of FT on the Highcrest website.
MK – Showed some information about an FT town in Paraguay, Arroyos y Esteros. The information was in two formats; tabular and paragraphs.
AM/SM – Prefer the tabular format – easier to compare with other towns.
MK – Talked about an FT town in Chile with produces wine and exports to several countries in the northern hemisphere, including the UK. Some of their FT premium is used for a fund to provide support in disaster relief situations. They are also looking for links with groups in the northern hemisphere.
Next meeting: Tuesday 19th February – Avenue Methodist Church.