Yearly Archives: 2021

Minutes of the Meeting of 19th October 2021

LOCATION

The Avenue Methodist Church, Rutland Avenue

PRESENT

Ivan Cicin-Sain
Jhon Munoz
Mike King
Tony Thornby
Sheena King
Lesley Hatton
Angus Massie
Steve Morton – Wycombe Friends of the Earth
Andrea Baughan – Mayor of High Wycombe

MINUTES OF LAST MEETING

MK – re: minutes of our last meeting – there is one correction ie. the cafe at Hughenden should be called The Village Store Coffee Shop (a community cafe) in order to distinguish it from the cafe at Hughenden Manor.

Bob’s Memorial Service

It was commented that there was a very warm feel to this service. Bob’s godson, Wesley, revealed that Bob had received an award from the UN for his work on the distribution of smallpox vaccines for children in Nepal/Bangladesh.

Contribution from Mayor Andrea

AB – has been interested in Fairtrade for many years and has lived in High Wycombe for about 15 years – a fan of the Oxfam shop and Ruby Moon (who are very supportive of the mayoralty and charity events). The Mayor’s current charities are the Epilepsy Trust and Ducklings (Stoke Mandeville & Wycombe Hospitals’ children’s toys).

AB is interested in organising a tea party event to raise awareness of FT. There is due to be a table-top sale in the Spindle & Thread pub on 27th November and there may be a spare table if we wanted to make enquiries (recommends to contact them via Facebook). It is £10 to book a table and this money goes to the Wycombe Homeless Connection. There may also be other possible future dates.

There will also be the Mayor’s Carol Service in December in All Saints church and AB is happy for Wycombe FT to arrange the refreshments. AB and her deputy are both willing to attend events to lend their support.

Wycombe Friends of the Earth

St M – there is a Global Day of Action for COP26 on Nov 6th and Wycombe FOE are holding events in Wycombe town centre on this day. They will be asking people what they are doing to combat climate change and taking a video which will be sent to Glasgow. Other groups are also involved, including Solar Streets. There will be a market stall beneath the Guild Hall from 10.30am onwards.

TT – asked if there will be any web presence that we could point people to?

St M – yes, there will be.

Population Matters

I C-S – there will be a meeting of Population Matters in November which will be posted on Facebook – venue and date to be arranged. He is also involved with Wycombe Food Hub and Trevor Snaith will be giving a talk on food waste on 3rd Nov at 7.30pm at the Friends Meeting House. People need to notify them if they would like to go or it is possible to watch on Zoom.

IT issues

TT – 3 documents from MK have been uploaded to our website.

MK – the logos that he used in the documents were obtained from free sites.

TT – there has not been much traffic. It might be better to have news of upcoming events, rather than just reporting on past events.

Treasurer’s report

SK – there has been no change to our balance since last meeting (£201.75). Thanks to MK for paying the £10 fee to have our stall at the Pann Mill event at which £156 was raised for Traidcraft from the sale of goods.

Pann Mill event

MK – re: our stall at Pann Mill open day on 12th September – we made some good contacts at this event. Wycombe Sound were not there but there was a steady flow of people. We met Marion Lyons from St Andrews, Hatters Lane – they are trying to gain Eco Church status. We also met Fay Ewing who is on the Wycombe Community Board – she gave us her e-mail address and invited us to their next meeting.

AB – Fay is very pro-active and helpful. The Community Board is where different groups can put in funding requests.
e-mail: hwcb@buckinghamshire.gov.uk

SM – could send her an e-mail and perhaps attend a meeting

Grecia/Coope Victoria Partnership

MK – re: banner. Thanks to AM for revising the banner.
The design was approved by everyone in the meeting.

MK – JM sent an e-mail to congratulate Grecia on their 200th anniversary

JM – will also send our congratulations to Coope Victoria for their 78th anniversary. They held a celebration for their workers.

Schools link

MK – originally sent letters out to Wycombe High/Royal Grammar/John Hampden/William Ramsey/Highcrest but only received a response from Highcrest so far. However Highcrest have been very enthusiastic and MK had a meeting with 6 teachers there (2 other teachers sent apologies) on Friday 8th October. They want to make Spanish compulsory across all age groups and would like to use the Costa Rican link as a lever to do this.

MK – suggested that if a formal launch of the schools link is arranged, we could invite the High Commissioner of Costa Rica.

AB – would also be willing to attend

SK – Highcrest was the school that Bob went to

MK – Highcrest has invited him in to give talks to students

LH – this will also spread the information on FT to the parents. Highcrest has a good sixth form

MK – the school is eager to start on this project soon

JM – the linking of the schools was a target that was talked about with Maria at the Cardiff presentation.

MK – Colette from Highcrest and Laura from the Bilingue school in Grecia will now get in touch with each other to take this forward. Colette has promised to keep us updated.

LH – the best time for schools having a ‘time window’ is after the exams finish in the summer

SK – Fairtrade Fortnight might also be a possible time for the schools to do something

CHURCHES MINI-TEAM

MK – there has not been much response yet to the letters he sent out re: churches registering/re-registering their FT status with the FT Foundation.

LH – churches may be very busy at the moment

AB – there is a new Pastor at the Elim Church (off Buckingham drive) – Robin Fenner
St M – the vicar at All Saints is retiring soon

LH – she did get in touch with various people re: re-registering and they will be doing this. The wife of the Methodist minister at Marlow is a Traidcraft rep and will be holding a stall at The Avenue church soon (31st October) and it may be possible to hold a Churches Together event at some point, similar to the event at Christ the Servant King in March 2020. In the early summer, at a Climate Sunday service at The Avenue, they had a speaker from A Rocha UK who spoke about environmental issues.

MK – did hear back from Beryl at Sunnybank Methodist Church in Downley and they are hoping to re-register

Other issues

AB – will contact people in the council re: organising a flower bed in the town on the theme of FT

COP26 is taking place October 30th – 13th November

St M – Amersham Town Council are planning an event for the end of COP26
The International FT Towns conference will be on-line from 18th – 20th November (organised by Swiss Fair Trade)

MK – it is possible to sign up for sessions – they are free of charge

Next meeting

Tuesday 23rd November

Minutes of meeting of 21st July 2021

LOCATION

The Avenue Methodist Church, Rutland Avenue

THOSE PRESENT

Mike King
Jhon Munoz
Sheena King
Tony Thornby
Angus Massie
Lesley Hatton
Sarah Moroz

APOLOGIES

Ivan Cicin-Sain
Andrea Baughan

MK – Andrea can’t come in the end due to a clash of meetings
Wycombe Friends of the Earth

EVENTS

MK – Wycombe Friends of the Earth are promoting a campaign called Solar Streets – re: getting solar panels for houses or businesses. Bucks Climate Action Alliance also supports this. The company putting them in are IDDA based in Westbury. There’s a Zoom presentation tomorrow evening. Wycombe Community fund are donating £50 per household or £100 for businesses.
Website/Social media

ACTIONS & DEVELOPMENTS

TT – brought new info – similar pattern to last month. The burst in activity due to the St Vincent reports has disappeared. In the last 30 days the website has had visits from 40 people. There has been a big drop in direct traffic.

MK – when he sent out letters to schools and churches he included his own e-mail address, rather than the group’s e-mail – the usage rate wasn’t good on the group e-mail.

SK – is willing to monitor the group’s e-mail

TT – there is a contact page on our website but very little traffic on it. There is also the group’s e-mail address on there. Many groups use WhatsApp now.

MK – has had a lot of communication with Barbara Hester recently (the South East regional rep for the National Campaigners Committee of the FT Foundation).
Grecia/Coope Victoria link/Pann Mill

JM – a bill board has been produced and placed on the road from the town of Grecia to Coope Victoria. JM received an invitation at short notice to join a ceremony for it including the CEO of Coope Victoria, the deputy Mayor of Grecia, a manager of Coope Victoria and a rep from CLAC (the Latin American and Caribbean network of Fair Trade small producers and workers).

MK – the bill board is at least 30-40 feet wide and designed to be visible to motorists. It has the FT logo on it, plus the logo of the WFTO and the symbol of Grecia town etc. MK joined in on his phone. There were various technical difficulties but it worked in the end on ‘Teams’.

MK – with thanks to Angus, a revised version of the banner has been prepared and sent to the printer – this time it should include the web addresses at the bottom. No reply has come back yet. Hopefully it will be possible to use the banner at the Pann Mill event.

SK – eventually found reference to the Pann Mill day (taking place on 12th Sept) on the Chiltern Heritage website. SK also sent an e-mail to the Wycombe Society site asking if the Pann Mill event is going ahead and if so, asking if we can have a stall. However it’s not on the Pann Mill website or the Wycombe Society site. The Costa Rican independence day is on 15th Sept.

MK – perhaps we can link up on-line with Grecia/Coope Victoria on that day. Wycombe Sound are usually at the Pann Mill event and Andrea may be there.

SCHOOLS LINK

MK – on 6th July, MK sent letters to the headteachers of Wycombe High/John Hampden/Royal Grammar/William Ramsey. He also sent letters to the named staff for Business Studies, Economics and Spanish. He will also be sending to Highcrest.

MK – we will need some contact details for the school in Grecia at some point.

JM – once we get that far, we would need to set up an introductory meeting between the schools and we could be included at the first meeting.

CHURCHES MINI-TEAM

MK – has sent out 10 e-mails to churches. Has only had a response from Lesley Hatton so far

LH – it may not be such a good time at the moment – some Ministers may be on holiday. May be better to send reminders out in Sept. LH may be able to provide some other contacts for churches as well.

GREAT GREEN WEEK

MK – this is looking at environment and climate change. There will be a webinar on 27th July which will include the SE regional NCC group (MK sent an e-mail round about this). MK/SK have signed up for the webinar.

OTHER MATTERS

MK – the Aldi store in central Wycombe (near the Lidl store) has chocolate bars M & R which use Ghanaian chocolate. The Village Store Coffee Shop (a community cafe) at Hughenden has FT sugar for sale.

AM – Lidl are also looking to open 2 new stores in Wycombe

MK – showed a document which he sent out by e-mail re: other product certification marks: WFTO, SPP, Naturland, Fair for Life. This can be confusing for consumers. MK has sent his document to Barbara Hester – she thought it was good and sent it to the NCC Chairman for comment.

JM – the products carrying these different certification marks are mostly sold in different markets. SPP is mainly in France, Italy Germany & Belgium. WFTO is not found much in the UK.

SM – the International FT Towns conferences use Fair Trade as 2 separate words.

JM – the World FT Day also uses Fair Trade as 2 separate words, as it is organised by the WFTO.

MK – Barbara sent a message saying that they will be discussing this issue at their next meeting.

MK – ‘Fairtrade’ certification is the only one which guarantees the premium. Matt’s Cafe has now reopened

TT – thinks things are going in the direction of Fair Trade as 2 separate words.

MK – there is a cost to companies in acquiring the ‘Fairtrade’ certification.

TT – we can put MK’s document on the website for information.

TT – when economic times were hard in the past, sales of FT stayed steady but that of organic products dropped.

SK – there may be an increased interest in organic now that environmental issues are more forefront.

JOURNAL OF FAIR TRADE ARTICLES

MK – wrote to the editor to ask re: progress of the article. The 2nd reviewers have looked at it and it is back with the editor-in-chief now. The next issue is in January 2022 (it is a bi-annual). The plan is to have a second, follow-up article, getting input from producers in developing countries.

TT – there has been a drop recently in the number of articles on FT available to add to our social media.

Next meeting

TBA – possibly at Hills Cafe (SM to e-mail Matt)

Fair Trade International Conference 2021

It’s time to Register for the 2021 International Fair Trade Towns Conference

This online event from 18 to 20 November 2021 will bring together consumers, traders, volunteers, supporters and farmers / producers from the south. Its aim is to bring people together to “set goals for a sustainable future for everyone” taking into account covid-19. Full details can be found at https://ftt-conference2021.org/

The event is being organised by Swiss Fair Trade. Various guest speakers from different sectors and countries will present and thus enable a broad view on the topics. Registration at https://ftt-conference2021.org/registration/ is for specific topics with the main sessions taking place between 12:00 and 18:00 CET each day.

This online conference strives to reinforce the vision of Fair Trade – a world where justice and sustainability are at the heart of trade structures and practices, allowing every person to enjoy a secure livelihood.

Take part in the conference and discuss with people all over the world on how we can create synergies and work towards a fairer world for everyone.

Logo Collage

Internationally Recognized Fairtrade Certification Labels

Fairtrade International

Fairtrade International is a fair trade certification scheme owned by producers and licensing organizations, such as the Fairtrade Foundation. It is almost exclusively primary product focused, but with no requirements for an entire organization to be a fair-trade company. (e.g., Cadburys).

This is the only Fairtrade mark that assures producers a guaranteed price for their products, usually above the world market price, ironing out the peaks and troughs of market fluctuations. The logo also indicates that a “premium” has been allocated to farmer cooperatives to devote in their businesses, as well as devote funds to social and community projects of their choice. Sustainable production methods and environmental awareness are also implied.

The Small Producers Symbol

The Small Producers Symbol or (SPP) is based in Mexico City and is particularly strong in Latin America and the Caribbean.

This is the only Fairtrade Certification system written, owned, and developed exclusively by the small producers and farmers themselves in developing countries. Rules and norms, such as granted minimum prices or products’ composition rules, are determined by SPP bodies, composed of fair-trade cooperatives. The Small Producers’ Symbol, (SPP), is a label that represents an alliance among organized small producers to build a local and global market that values the identity and the economic, social, cultural, and ecological contributions of products from Small Producers’ Organizations. This alliance is based on a relationship of collaboration, trust and co-responsibility among women and men who are small producers, with buyers and consumers. The SPP is backed by an independent certification system.

The SPP represents the identity of organized small fair trade producers, to distinguish it in local and global markets with its specific products and values.

The SPP is backed by an independent certification system, guaranteeing consumers that products come from authentic, democratic, self-managing organizations of small producers, and that they have been produced in line with criteria for economic, social, cultural and ecological sustainability, and produced under fair conditions.

The SPP is more than a label. It is a particular way of improving prospects for life and well-being through collective, co-responsible work among small producers, consumers, and other stakeholders in the market and in society.

The World Fair Trade Organization

The WFTO was founded in 1987 as a Fair-Trade Certification body. Traidcraft was certified as a WFTO Guaranteed Fair Trade Organization in 2017. The WFTO is a producer and trader owned international system, which brings growers, suppliers, and buyers of fair-trade products together.

A Community of Fair Trade Enterprises

The WFTO is the global community and verifier of social enterprises that fully practice Fair Trade. Spread across 76 countries, WFTO members all exist to serve marginalised communities. To be a WFTO member, an enterprise or organisation must demonstrate they put people and planet first in everything they do. The WFTO is democratically run by its members, who are part of a broader community of over 1,000 social enterprises and 1,500 shops. We are their global community. 

The WFTO focuses on both social enterprise and Fair Trade. Its Guarantee System is the only international verification model focused on social enterprises that put the interests of workers, farmers, and artisans first. Through peer-reviews and independent audits, WFTO verifies members are mission-led enterprises fully practicing the 10 Principles of Fair Trade across their business and supply chains. Once verified, all members have free use of the WFTO Guaranteed Fair Trade product label. (see above)

The WFTO subscribes to 10 core principles of Fair Trade

  • Create Opportunities for Economically Disadvantaged Producers.
  • Transparency and Accountability.
  • Fair Trading Practices.
  • Payment of a Fair Price.
  • Ensuring no Child Labour and Forced Labour. …
  • Commitment to Non-Discrimination, Gender Equality, Freedom of Association.
  • Ensuring Good Working Conditions.
  • Provide capacity building
  • Promoting Fair Trade as the norm.
  • Respect for the Environment

Impact

Fair Trade Enterprises across the world are producing and trading, campaigning, and educating for a better world. The WFTO is their global community. Their direct impact includes 965,700 livelihoods supported through the operations and supply chains of these enterprises. 74% of these workers, farmers and artisans are women and women made up much of the leadership. They pioneer upcycling and social enterprise, refugee livelihoods and women’s leadership. These enterprises show a better world is possible and we support them through a range of initiatives and projects. As of May 2018, there were 326 certified WFTO Fair Trade Enterprises throughout the world.

Naturland Fair

Naturland Fair combines organic agriculture, social responsibility, and fair trade, both locally and globally. Naturland Fair is strongly represented in mainland Europe and adds the organic component to this economic aspect of sustainability. It is now one of the most prestigious certification bodies combining Fairtrade and Organic in one label.

This certification system is owned by organic farmers that ensures that both the product and the organization that produced it are rooted in doing things fairly. The Naturland association campaigns for organic farmers, wherever they are in the world, to have a future. This is only possible if they can live by what they grow. Fair prices, reliable trading relationships, and social responsibility are the cornerstones of this policy. They are the mainstay of certification to the Naturland Fair standards, which since 2010 now has provided businesses with a visible symbol of their commitment to a spirit of co-operation with their partners in their economic relationships and in society in general. A wide variety of products, ranging from milk and bread to olives and spices, besides the typical fair-trade products such as coffee and chocolate, illustrates the global scope of certification to Naturland Fair standards.

Fair for Life

Fair for Life is a certification programme for fair trade in agriculture, manufacturing, and trade. It was created in 2006 by the Swiss Bio-Foundation in cooperation with the IMO Group, then taken over by the Ecocert Group in 2014 to meet a specific demand from organic farming stakeholders. It is basically a certification process of Fair Trade within responsible supply chains and businesses with corporate social responsibility.

The label encourages a supply chain business model that aims at the resilience of each link. Fair for Life certification is a tool that enables the fixing of prices and protection of exemplary supply chains, where stakeholders have chosen to act responsibly by implementing good economic, social, and environmental practices. By following the framework defined by Fair for Life certification, producers, processors, and brand owners can secure their sales and supplies, thanks to tools such as long-term contracts that include fixed prices and volumes, and by establishing a real partnership between them.


Today, Fair for Life brings together a community of more than 700 certified companies and organisations in over 70 countries. Their commitment in Fair for Life directly impacts 235,000 producers and workers and generates nearly €1 billion in certified products sales. An example “Fair For All” certified company is “Alter Ego” based in San Francisco which markets and supplies socially and ethically produced quinoa.

Minutes of Meeting of 29th June 2021

Location

The Avenue Methodist Church, Rutland Avenue

Those Present

  • Mike King
  • Jhon Munoz
  • Sheena King
  • Tony Thornby
  • Angus Massie
  • Lesley Hatton
  • Sarah Moroz

Apologies

Ivan Cicin-Sain

Minutes of Last Meeting

No corrections were suggested to the minutes from 19/05/21

Wycombe Council

MK – following our last meeting, MK e-mailed Matt and asked if he could update us re: Wycombe Council situation. MK quoted Matt’s response ie: that a Wycombe Town Council is unlikely to be established in the near future and that the resolution originally passed by Wycombe Council supporting FT will still stand. He advised that for now, we will have to work within the existing systems of Wycombe Town Committee and the Mayor and Charter Trustees.

Population Matters/ Wycombe Friends of the Earth

Deferred – in Ivan’s absence

Website/Social media

TT – there hasn’t been much content added but TT shared the website’s traffic figures for June and which pages have been viewed. Numbers are up but this is mainly because we published some info on St Vincent. The figures showed 97 views of the St Vincent page and 57 of the home page.

MK – also there was the Wycombe Sound interview in which TT mentioned the St Vincent disaster appeal

AM –some people must have gone straight to the St Vincent page and not via the home page

JM – put a photo of MK and Andrea onto Facebook and it generated some traffic

Coope Victoria/Grecia link

MK – showed our banner that has been printed for the partnership – part of the bottom text which included the website addresses has been missed off. Cost was approx £40. Propose that we go back to Grecia and get them to work on the sizing. Also the Costa Rican and British flags were slightly chopped off.

AM – is willing to try adjusting this.

MK – some of the colours also did not come out. We need to go back to the printers and ask them to try again once we have adjusted it.

TT – we could ask if they could reprint it and us to re-use the rollers/stands for it.

MK – there might have been discrepancies caused by differences between Costa Rican and UK software systems

Treasurer’s report

SK – balance is still £201.75. Plan is to get signatories changed to SK and SM (MK to be taken off).

Meeting with Mayor

MK – Andrea is totally committed to our cause. Her consort is Nabeela Rana (another Wycombe Independent councillor) and her deputy is Lesley Clarke. Hence we have good support. MK had a 90 minute meeting with Andrea (on 14/06/21). She is willing for us to provide catering at the Mayor’s Carol concert and possibly on other occasions. She can’t bring much pressure to bear on what products the council uses but suggested a couple of people who we may be able to approach re: product procurement. Re: Road signage – she advised that we would have to approach Bucks Council about this. Andrea hopes to attend our next meeting on 21st July.

There was a group discussion re: Wycombe not having a District Council. If a District Council was set up, ownership of Council properties would have to revert to Wycombe from Bucks – this may be an issue.

TT – will put MK’s report of his meeting with Andrea onto our website.

MK – will provide summary for TT

MK – Andrea was also willing to take part in Zoom meetings with Grecia’s Mayor etc.
Links with other neighbouring groups

MK – Ivan suggested inviting people from neighbouring groups to our meeting and perhaps arrange joint events eg. a speaker event.

SM – the Fairtrade Foundation and other groups are putting together a package for schools available from September re: COP26. We could support Wycombe FOE if they wanted to approach schools with this.

We could also join with other local FT groups if we need to lobby Bucks Council about something.

TT – feels we should concentrate more on engaging with people within Wycombe and subjects relevant to them.

MK – our link with the mayor will help this.

MK – had an online meeting with Bucks New Uni. They did run a FT breakfast and had a FT wine and cheese event around World FT Day but won’t have a FT rep until autumn at earliest.

Grecia schools link

JM – e-mail went to Headteacher of Wycombe High but no reply yet. May have gone to junk or they have just been too busy. Perhaps we should just send letters out instead but also to other schools as well. Maria already has established contact at a school in Grecia and they are happy to have the link with schools here.

AM – problem with timing at the moment as it is nearly the end of term.

JM – may be more difficult at the beginning of a term though. Perhaps if we sent them now they would then have the information ready for the autumn

MK – we could send letters to teachers in various departments – Geography, Business Studies, Spanish etc

Places of Worship mini-team

MK – we are being hampered by GDPR

LH – will be able to provide some contact names and details within the Methodist churches. She could put it on the agenda for their church council next week

SM – thinks we should just ask people to e-mail the faiths e-mail address provided by Chrysi rather than give all the other more complicated details in the proposed church letter.

LH – could put a link in the letter to the relevant section on the FT Foundation website
Pann Mill Open Day

MK – September date should be going ahead at Pann Mill

SK – willing to arrange Traidcraft stall at this.

MK – costs £10 for a stall all day including a gazebo.

Next meeting

Wednesday 21st July – Place to be confirmed –
possibly Micklefield Library

Wycombe For Fairtrade – Stall at Pann Mill Open Day on Sunday 12th September 2021

Wycombe For Fairtrade rented stall space at the recent Pann Mill Open Day. This was the first information and Fairtrade product stall that that we have had since about one year and a half ago when the pandemic lookdown occurred, and public gatherings banned.

Thank to Sarah, Sheena, Jhon and Mike who staffed the stall all day from 1030am to about 4.45 pm.

It was a surprisingly successful venture for several reasons: –

  1. Our stall near the Pann Mill Café saw steady footfall all day.
  2. It was good to have direct contact with the public again.
  3. We managed to sell a number of Traidcraft products and raised over £156.00.
  4. Sadly, Wycombe Sound Community Radio were not present at this event However,
  5. Steering Group members had a number of productive conversations with members of the public as well as engaging with several known contacts.
  6. The Mayor of High Wycombe, Councillor Andrea Baughan, visited Pann Mill around 4.00 pm and visited all the stalls and spoke with the stall holders. This provided Wycombe For Fairtrade with good photo opportunities to: –
  7. Present the Mayor with a Fairtrade coffee mug which the Chairman presented to Andrea
  8. The backdrop was the new banner highlighting the twin Fairtrade Town linking between Grecia in Costa Rica, and the Fairtrade Town of High Wycombe in which the image colours and the text really
  9. Marion Lyons, from St Andrews Church introduced herself and stated that the Church had registered with the Fairtrade Foundation under the new Places of Worship scheme and were busy ensuring that Fairtrade products and the ethics of social justice were entrenched in the biblical teaching and church services.
  10. Also, a member of the public came forward and identified herself as Fay, and gave us a insight into the workings of the High Wycombe Community Board, which could prove useful in future and in “building back better” in terms of local council actions and plans. We noted her contact details for future reference.

Overall, it was a very positive, productive, and profitable presence and although tiring to set up and pack up, but was well worth the effort.

Many thanks to Sheena King, Sarah Moroz, and Jhon Munoz who gave up a large proportion of Sunday to ensure that our Fairtrade Stall was staffed all day.

Mike King

Chairman, Wycombe For Fairtrade

Report from SE Regional Fairtrade Campaigner’s Zoom Conference 27th July 2021

Mike and Sheena King attended the online SE Regional Campaigner’s Zoom Conference.

There were some some very interesting and encouraging addresses and information.
Mike and Sheena have summarised the content of the 4 addresses that they listened to and links to these, as PDF document, are below.

The four summaries cover: – 

1). Big Green Week 18-26 September 2021

2). Joanna Pollard – Fairtrade Foundation, National Campaign Council Chairperson address

3). Pauline Tiffen – B2B Business to Business Initiative.

4). Sarah Brazier – Fairtrade Foundation Campaign Manager address.

Minutes of Zoom Meeting of 19th May 2021

Those present

  • Mike King
  • Sarah Moroz
  • Sheena King
  • Tony Thornby

Jhon Munoz and Ivan Cicin-Sain – hope to join later in meeting

No corrections were suggested to the minutes from 21/04/21

Bucks Climate Action Alliance

MK – 113 Conservative councillors were elected out of 147 as a result of local elections. MK went to post-election Zoom meeting. The BCAA issues were got out there and BCAA will continue – the long-term aim is to educate the public and councillors on climate change and the urgency regarding it. A number of independent candidates also got in. In MK’s ward 2 Labour candidates and a Conservative got in. Matt Knight and Steve Guy were both elected. MK/SK found out today that the new mayor of Wycombe is Andrea Baughan. She is very pro-environment and FT. MK suggests that we send a message of congratulations from the steering group and say that we look forward to working with her.

SM – agreed

MK – BCAA decided that they will need to work with all the councillors

Website/Social Media

TT – recently has been trying to keep content going – but we do have a challenge because since beginning of year the highest view was 11 views for the post re: WFF joining the BCAA. We have a lot of followers on our Facebook page but not views on the website

SM – wondering if we should advertise our next meeting date

TT – there has been an upgrade to WordPress and it has affected some of the navigation of web pages on our website. TT will try to fix it

Wycombe Council

MK – someone suggested to him that Bucks Council don’t want Wycombe to have a Town Council because of all the properties they own.

SM – perhaps we should invite Matt to our next meeting to fill us in on current situation at Bucks Council and Wycombe

MK – we could perhaps meet physically next time – either at Matt’s Cafe, Micklefield Library or Avenue church.

TT – has just Googled – there is still a town committee for Wycombe – they have a meeting on 26th May.

Treasurer’s report


SK – we had £251.75 in our account at our last meeting date. It was agreed then to give a £50 donation to the St Vincent appeal. MK paid this from his account and then we reimbursed MK from the WFF account. Hence the balance will now be £201.75.

Wycombe Sound

MK – MK and TT went on Wycombe Sound on 7th May.

SK – Claudia (their Spanish teacher) listened to it and was full of praise for this (she has done radio interviews herself)

MK – they were on for 35 mins

Wycombe Friends of the Earth

I C-S – Wycombe FOE are active in the Wycombe Environment group – a sub-group of the Wycombe Community board which is part of the council. It is led by Penelope Tollett – an ex-council officer – they have done a lot of work on a Bee Day.

Other local Fairtrade groups

I C-S – has researched most local FT groups – Windsor & Maidenhead, Henley and Chesham – perhaps we could invite their co-ordinators to part or whole of one of our meetings

SK – maybe we could have ‘guest speakers’ at some of our meetings

MK – we have had contact with Chesham, Witney and Oxford groups in the past. Oxford group are also developing international contacts.

MK – for our next meeting perhaps we could invite Matt. Thereafter invite someone from one of the other local groups.

TT – there is an environmental action group in Marlow – being led by same person who is leader of the Town Council

MK – Bucks New Uni are having problems engaging students on FT issues at the moment. Tuition has been largely on-line for last 2 terms. They don’t have a rep specifically for FT. MK has asked if such a person could be part of our steering group once they are appointed.

Places of Worship mini-team

MK – re: the e-mail from Chrysi since last meeting – there are 5 places of worship in and around Wycombe which have responded to the Fairtrade Foundation’s enquiries – but she is not able to tell us which ones as they haven’t given their permission for their data to be given out. Perhaps we need a mini-group meeting to decide our way ahead.

SM – need some clarity from Chrysi on use of portal etc

SK – noticed that St Mary and St George wasn’t on Angus’s list. Their website is Smgchurch.co.uk but there is no e-mail address. SK/MK’s neighbour, Lesley Hatton, who is a lay Methodist preacher would be able to pass information round the Methodist circuit.

MK – will contact Chrysi and try to clarify method of communication for Places of Worship who want to register/re-register.

Grecia/Coope Victoria link

MK – JM can’t make it tonight due to a work commitment. JM wanted to say re: World FT Day, that, in addition to the Wycombe Sound radio interview, JM went into various shops in Wycombe which sell FT goods and did videos for Grecia/Coope Victoria for World FT Day. On 15th May, MK, JM and SK attended an on-line meeting (in Spanish) with Grecia/Coope Victoria during which some videos were shown that Grecia/Coope Victoria have produced promoting and explaining FT. Today, MK has sent off the banner to be printed.

SK – thought the meeting was very professional. JM had sent Powerpoint presentations beforehand so they were able to go through it.

MK – they are also promoting the ‘Coope Victoria experience’, where members of the public can go to them and learn about what they do.

Schools

MK – JM’s wife has sent the e-mail to the Headteacher at Wycombe High. Waiting to hear back.

A.O.B.

SK – mentioned that it is Bob’s anniversary today. Thinking of Maggie and rest of family.

Next meeting

To be arranged

Minutes of Zoom Meeting of 21st April 2021

Those present

  • Mike King
  • Sarah Moroz
  • Sheena King
  • Ivan Cicin-Sain – Wycombe Friends of the Earth

Apologies

Jhon Munoz and Ivan Cicin-Sain hope to join for 2nd half of meeting

Gold Cup award for Coope Victoria coffee

MK –sent out the news re: Coope Victoria’s Gold Cup award to the company we are hoping will produce the Costa Rican anniversary coffee. Maria sent details of the award and MK sent these to Tony to put onto our website. MK wrote an introduction to go with it.

Social media

SM – asked re: contact section of website – what happens to any comments/messages put on there by people going onto the website?

MK – need to ask Tony. Also need to sort out rota for looking at our new public e-mail address

Costa Rican trip

MK – MK/SK planning to go to Costa Rica in October – this will coincide with the 78th anniversary of Coope Victoria becoming a co-operative.

Fairtrade Fortnight events

SM – hasn’t yet sent links round to the steering group for the 2 webinars that she attended in Fairtrade Fortnight (Bruce Crowther interview and the one organised by the Tunbridge Wells group re: the challenges of climate change for food producers) – but will do so.

Bucks Climate Action Alliance/May 6th elections

MK – Bucks Climate Action Alliance now has many members – such as the Chiltern Society (who have done a good presentation re: lowering of the water table). BCAA has encouraged people to vote on May 6th for candidates who have signed the climate pledge.

MK – wrote to 11 councillors re: climate pledge. MK has delivered BCAA leaflets to 250 households re: May 6th election. This was targeted to Amersham Common and Little Chalfont (Martin Tett’s ward). MK has also delivered 200 leaflets for the independent candidates.

SK – re: hustings on 19th April – organised by BCAA – Steve Guy (Independent) was there, also candidates for the Green Party and the Labour Party – the Conservatives were not represented but Martin Tett sent a letter outlining their position.

MK – attended a BCAA follow-up meeting last night. All the parties were wanting to collaborate. The issues are national as well as local. MK will also be helping to deliver some further leaflets. MK will send SM the link showing details of the leaflet and BCAA

Treasurer’s report

SK – Nothing has changed in our balance since last meeting (£251.75). Tony has highlighted that we should perhaps be supporting St Vincent re: the volcano eruption disaster appeal.

Perhaps we could make a donation to the St Vincent Second Generation group (SV2G) which is organising a collection. SK suggested that we could make a donation of £50 via the Just Giving page.

MK – St Vincent are very dependent on their banana crop and this has been wiped out.

MK – we haven’t had to spend anything on insurance this year, so we could perhaps make this donation. Sebert Graham is also organising some aid.

MK – although it would be good to have a link with a banana-producer country, it may be better to make contact with the Dominican Republic for this.

Banners for Grecia/Coope Victoria link

MK – has a meeting tomorrow with Maria and JM. Maria has a completed version of the 2 banners (English and Spanish). MK will send these round to the group. They look eye-catching. Tony also sent a link to a company which could produce the banner for us – could cost about £40.

I C-S joined the meeting.

Other matters/World Fairtrade Day

MK – Tony has been working on updates to the website.

IC-S – agreed with £50 donation to St Vincent fund.

MK – re: ideas for World FT Day, May 8th. Maria sent a pdf of the Gold cup event and some photos; banner is done. MK has written a report re: Kate Raworth’s webinar on circular economics.

SM – Rapanui is a clothing company which uses the circular model

MK – this system puts people and planet first. It can be used on national level as well.

SM – it would be good to have a history of our link with Grecia/Coope Victoria on our website and highlight it for World FT Day.

MK – there is a bilingual school in Grecia which may want to form links with a school in Wycombe

SM – there is info on MK’s e-mail on 27/10/20 re: the history of our link with Grecia/Coope Victoria

SK – SK/SM could put some paragraphs together on this for the website.

Churches mini-team

MK – has had an e-mail from Chrysi Dimaki giving an update on how far the FT Foundation has got with their campaign to contact churches. She will be sending any info they have on churches in HP12 and HP13, as requested by MK. Angus has had problems with Data Protection for sending out our e-mail letter to churches so it may take longer to compile details for churches in the town.

Next meeting

To be arranged

Minutes of Zoom Meeting of 16th March 2021

Those present

  • Mike King
  • Sheena King
  • Tony Thornby
  • Sarah Moroz
  • Ivan Cicin-Sain – Wycombe Friends of the Earth

Wycombe Friends of the Earth / Population Matters / Bucks Climate Action Alliance

I C-S – re: Wycombe Friends of the Earth – he has done an update recently with Steve Norton. The group have started to be more active on food waste and are expecting a talk soon by Trevor Snaith who runs the Wycombe Food Hub. I C-S is also joining the board of this as they want someone involved with climate change. The Bucks Climate Action Alliance group and others are also lobbying councillors. The other areas in which the group are currently active are fossil fuel divestment and eco organisations. The dormant campaigns are ‘Finding Greta’, schools/junior projects and work on bees and litter picking.

Population Matters group – currently dormant

MK – Wycombe for Fairtrade has now joined the Bucks Climate Action Alliance (we are the 23rd member). MK had a Zoom call with Steve Morton.

Social media

TT – Has picked out items from the feeds he gets and puts them on an automatic schedule to go on our Facebook and Twitter pages. If anyone comes across a site that TT may not be picking up, let TT know. He has detected same pattern that MK mentioned – the articles increasingly mention environment and climate change and the disproportionate effect of the pandemic on the poorer producers.

Grecia/Coope Victoria link

JM – has discussed ideas with Maria for joint activities. One of the main ones is the relationship between schools in our 2 countries. Maria is contacting schools in Grecia, in the same way that we are. JM’s wife used to work at Wycombe High –suggests we could start with this school.

MK – JM has suggested amendments to our schools letter. We could send a trial e-mail to Wycombe High. MK has the relevant e-mail addresses for the schools and the subject heads.

I C-S – found it quite hard to get contact into Wycombe High with Wycombe FOE’s ‘Finding Greta’ project. Once they know you it’s easier.

SM – could JM’s wife talk to the Headteacher to make sure they know who we are?

JM – she could do this. She left Wycombe High a couple of years ago but she should be able to do this. Schools are very busy at the moment due to the return after lockdown. Perhaps better to leave it a few weeks.

JM – hasn’t yet heard back from Maria re: the wording of the banner that we sent. He will ask.

Journal of Fair Trade article

MK – no further progress on the article for the Journal of Fair Trade but they have accepted all the diagrams in the correct format.

Treasurer’s report

SK – no change in our bank balance since our last meeting £251.75

I C-S – could we put our account details on our website in case anyone wants to donate?

MK – good idea, we should do this.

Fairtrade Fortnight

MK – all the households in Tilehurst where his father lives received a leaflet from Kingdom Coffee showing some new varieties of coffee –this happened to tie in with FT Fortnight but was also a drive for Kingdom to increase sales to individual households.
There are several pages in the latest Lidl catalogue on FT.

SM – took part in 2 FT webinars, both very good – will send links

SK – saw a very good one on the first day of FT Fortnight, chaired by Lucy Seagull of the Guardian. The Chairlady of CLAC was one of the participants. It also included Esther Stanford who is a ‘reparationist’ and Tim Lang, an academic on food security. They discussed the situation on the ground for producers due to climate change. Also the fact that lower commodity prices are not covering the cost of living and that there have been increase in costs due to Covid.

MK – he attended 4 sessions. Suggests that we each do a write up that can be put up on our website. One of the sessions discussed boosting the supply chain network and included Cheryl Pinto, a sourcing manager for Ben & Jerry’s – they are a FT certified as well as a B-Corp company. B-Corp runs parallel to a lot of FT principles.
Many of the webinars discussed climate change.

MK – was also invited to an online FT breakfast organised by Bucks New Uni. He was sent lots of FT goodies by Jade Collis. There were 15 students and MK spoke for about 30 minutes to them about what we are doing and they asked lots of questions. After Easter the students are planning a FT coffee tasting and a FT wine and cheese event.
Churches

SK – Gained a lot of orders for FT Easter eggs from people at Christ the Servant King church and raised about £190 in orders for the Meaningful Chocolate company.

MK – re: churches mini-team. Angus is leading this. MK will check with the FT Foundation which churches they will be starting with.

Other matters

MK – MK/SK still hope to visit Costa Rica mid to end of September.

JM – the 200th anniversary is on 15th September

MK – there is also the anniversary of the formation of Coope Victoria in October. Maria Angela will arrange things accordingly once dates are known.

SK –has now signed up with Traidcraft to walk 100km to raise money.

JM – the head of FT International resigned last month.

TT – re: who our contact could be in Buckinghamshire Council – this week he came across a ‘Community Board’. There is a Community Board for High Wycombe (Lesley Clarke is deputy in this) – their work covers reducing our climate footprint etc.
Also there is a Facebook page pressure group for a Wycombe Town Council.

Next meeting

To be arranged