Monthly Archives: February 2020

“Fairtrade Think Tank” on 7th March 2020

Churches and Faith Groups “Fairtrade Think Tank” Event at Christ the Servant King Church,

Sycamore Road, Booker, High Wycombe on Saturday 7th March 2020. 10.30am to 1.00pm

Programme and Speakers

10.30  – 10.45 am – Fairtrade Coffee,Tea, and Biscuits.

10.45 – 11.05am  – Fairtrade Church Service (Heather Searle)

11.05am  – 11.30 am -“Traidcraft: a Christian Approach to Fair Trade” (Margaret Dykes OBE: Traidcraft)  20 minute presentation followed by questions/discussion.

Margaret received an OBE in 2015 for services to charity and community groups in her home village of Chalfont St Giles. She has 28 years of experience with Traidcraft, a charity linked to the Fairtrade movement, and is a prolific public speaker at schools now that Fairtrade is taught in the national curriculum.

11.30 am – 12.00 noon“What does it mean to be a Fairtrade church? Looking back, looking forward”(Maranda St John Nicolle: Oxford Fair Trade Coalition; CCOW) 20 minute presentation followed by questions/discussion.

Maranda is the Director of Christian Concern for One World. She is also seconded by CCOW to the Diocese of Oxford for two days a week, serving as World Development Adviser and Partners in World Mission Project Officer. She is also on the steering groups of the International Anglican Family Network and the Oxford Fair Trade Coalition.

12.05 pm – 12.35pm‘Faith’s place in the Fairtrade Movement’ (Angharad Hopkinson; Fairtrade Foundation Churches & Faith Groups Campaigns and Policy Officer) 20 minute presentation followed by questions/discussion.

Since March 2019, Angharad has been the Campaigns and Policy Officer for Churches and faith Groups at the Fairtrade Foundation. Her degree from the London School of Economics was in Environment and Development Studies. She has also media experience with campaigning for Age UK and Green Alliance.

12.35 pm – 1.00 pm“Fairtrade: The Impact of Climate Change” (Mike King: Chairman: Wycombe For Fairtrade) 20 minute presentation followed by questions/discussion.

Mike was an Academic Librarian for over 28 years and has a BA (Hons) in Regional Development Studies. Initially supporting the Trade Justice and Jubilee 2000 movements, he has been Chairman of the Wycombe For Fairtrade Steering Group since its inception in 2008, attending three International Fairtrade Towns Conferences.

1.00pm – Close

Politicon Event held at John Hampden Grammar School, 15th February 2020

This well-populated and extremely well-organized event attracted over 17 stall/stand holders covering the areas of the environment, economics, politics and community issues.

One of the first people to approach the Wycombe For Fairtrade Steering Group information stall was a Ms.S.Neal, a senior teacher at JHGS responsible for business enterprise, economics, and RS. She stated that Fairtrade was now an element in the curricula for business enterprise and economics. She had some great ideas for expanding Fairtrade into the students’ summer projects as well as having a first Fairtrade Stall during Fairtrade Fortnight 2020. It was very reassuring and encouraging to hear that Fairtrade forms part of various subject curricula at many age group levels.

I have sent Ms Neal the email and contact details for Margaret Dykes, the local Traidcraft representative, to provide a range of Fairtrade products for either a forthcoming stall during Fairtrade Fortnight 2020 or during World Fair Trade Day/Week 2020. I also gave her a booklet from the Fairtrade Foundation about registering and achieving Fairtrade School status, reflecting there were no currently registered Fairtrade schools in the High Wycombe area. She also requested a copy of the recent Fairtrade Foundation pull-out brochure/poster – “The Story of Fairtrade Cocoa” for one of her younger age-group business enterprise and economics classes.

In addition to boys and their parents, girls were invited to attend the Politicon event from the nearby Wycombe High School. Three “clued-up” students spent some time talking to Jhon and myself and indicated there was a teacher at the school “very interested” about Fairtrade. One of them informed us of a new “ethical cafe” recently opened in the small business and artisan area opposite Aldi, in one of the former shipping containers called “Tones”. I will check this out next week. 

I think that this was the first time Wycombe Fairtrade have met and talked with a Secondary school/grammar school teacher who was very interested in the subject of Fairtrade and its off-shoots into sustainability, organic production, social solidarity economics, and small business practices. It was an amazing and remarkable contact after many years of previously fruitless efforts to find a potential champion teacher which certainly justified W4FT presence at this event. I am sure that she will be a very useful contact to develop over the year. Given her portfolio of subject responsibilities, I think that she will have a narrow window of opportunity to work with us during term time and develop JHGS Fairtrade inputs, but I have offered the Steering Group’s support and backing.

This meeting with Ms Neal could provide a springboard into developing exciting links and contacts with schools in Grecia specifically and in Costa Rica as a whole as well as providing places for future field courses in the subjects of:-
a) Business b) Enterprise c) Economics d) Language exchanges of students learning Spanish or English, and setting up Facebook communication for e-frindships.

Jhon was replaced by Sarah Moroz around 7.00 pm.

Thank you to Jhon and Sarah for giving up part of their evening in helping me to set up and dismantle the W4FT stall, which had many updated Fairtrade Foundation posters and leaflets, stickers, the Fairtrade Town banner, our new A1 poster, and material and products from Grecia and CoopeVictoria.Costa Rica. This education, community, and business enterprise aspect could form the basis of a reciprocal project in Grecia and CoopeVictoria in future.

A seed has certainly been sown, but these are early days, and the drivers here are the schools, interested and influential teachers, and the amount of time they can devote to this.

Mike King,
Chairman, Wycombe Fairtrade.